Love Poems

Gacela of Unforseen Love

by Federico Garcia Lorca

‘Gacela of Unforseen Love’ explores the relationship between love and despair through a remembered romance which has run its course.

Love, and its absence, define the poem. The strength of the imagined or remembered union only serves to torture the narrator in the present, when they cannot reach out and touch the one they love.

No one understood the perfume

of the dark magnolia of your womb

Nobody knew that you tormented

a hummingbird of love between your teeth.

Explore more poems about Love

Hymn to Aphrodite

by Sappho

The ‘Hymn to Aphrodite’ by Sappho is an ancient lyric in which Sappho begs for Aphrodite’s help in managing her turbulent love life.

Sappho's delicate, yet relatable, handling of the theme of love in 'Hymn to Aphrodite' is extraordinary. As a poem that is over 2,500 years old, it still rings true in the hearts of anyone who has ever experienced love. This hymn is a true time-tested masterpiece, and it is a quintessential love poem.


by Sir Walter Scott

‘Lochinvar’ is a ballad about a young and courageous knight who saves his beloved, the fair lady Ellen, from marrying another man.

While the focus of the poem is on the knight Lochinvar, love is what motivates him most throughout the narrative. Though forbidden to marry Ellen, Lochinvar’s boldness, winning courage, and intelligence help him win her back. Walter Scott uses the star-crossed lovers trope in this poem, but only to show the listener that there is no battle that cannot be won if you are courageous and dedicated to love. With dedication on his side, Ellen and Lochinvar ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.


by Jean Bleakney

Jean Bleakney’s ‘Consolidation’ is a deeply personal poem about the act of rearranging the cowry shells that the speaker and her children gathered in the past.

This piece is all about motherly love and how a mother longs to be with her children, who have grown up and moved on.

[love is more thicker than forget]

by E.E. Cummings

‘[love is more thicker than forget]’ by E.E. Cummings conveys the idea that love can be a source of hope, comfort, and joy in times of darkness.

Love is the overwhelmingly central theme of this memorable poem. It depicts love in a way that, perhaps, no poet has ever been capable. Using his characteristic style, Cummings alludes to the nature of love and how it impacts everyone.

Death of a Young Woman

by Gillian Clarke

Explore ‘Death of a Young Woman,’ where Clarke depicts how a loved one’s death lets a person free from their inward, endless suffering.

In 'Death of a Young Woman,' Clarke captures the reactions of a woman's loved ones after her untimely death.

The Nightingale

by Philip Sidney

‘The Nightingale’ is a unique love-lyric that exploits the classical myth of Philomel to morph the personal rue of a lovelorn heart into a superb piece of poetry.

The poem is directly or indirectly about love, be it Poet's unrequited love or Tereus's so-called wicked love towards Philomela, or Procne's protective love towards her sister Philomela. Love is the cause of destruction, ignorance revenge and hate. Love is the force of the actions that the characters did in the poem. It leds a mother to bring death upon his child, an innocent woman to hide from her extended family.

Love Poem

by Gregory Orr

‘Love Poem’ by Gregory Orr is a short poem about a speaker’s imaginative telling of asking for someone’s phone number.

Given the poem's title love is a big theme in the poem. It's ambiguous whether the speaker is simply naively idealistic or just overcome with the joy of getting their beloved's phone number. But either way the imagery in the poem is created to be illustrative of the way love strikes us.

The Heart asks Pleasure – first

by Emily Dickinson

‘The heart asks pleasure first’ by Emily Dickinson depicts the needs of the heart. They are highly changeable and include pleasure and excuse from pain.

Love and pleasure are what the heart wants most, Dickinson says in this poem.


by Kenneth Koch

‘Permanently’ by Kenneth Koch is a poem that compares the speaker’s love to the part of speech they view as the most essential.

Koch's speaker goes a seemingly roundabout way of confessing their deep love. But the use of the personified pieces of syntax add a sly humor to the poem's playful tone. Which only bolsters the ending metaphor and the speaker's sincere expression of affection.

“Take me anywhere” (from Hermetic Definition: ‘Red Rose and a Beggar’)

by Hilda Doolittle

In “Take me anywhere, anywhere;” by Hilda Doolittle, the poet-speaker addresses a lover, expressing the way in which she takes refuge in their affection.

Like in most Hilda Doolittle poems, "Take me anywhere, anywhere;" is focused on the theme of love and its role in the human day-to-day. While this love poem is not the sweetest, as it conveys the poet's deep dependence on love for protection and insight, it is an interesting exploration into relationship dynamics and emotional attachment.

“Venice — Venus?” (#5 from Hermetic Definition: ‘Red Rose and a Beggar’)

by Hilda Doolittle

“Venice — Venus?” by Hilda Doolittle is an insightful poem about Doolittle’s reasons for writing despite critiques. Doolittle reveals that her ultimate source of inspiration is divine.

This poem is focused on love, but not in a conventional way. Doolittle expresses that she writes about love, lust, and desire frequently because Venus compels and forces her to write. Thus, the poet must write about love, and she must write. Otherwise, she would have no purpose, and following the poem's logic, offend Venus.


by Hilda Doolittle

‘Circe’ by Hilda Doolittle is a poem that gives voice to Circe, a goddess and master of magical enchantments. Despite her power, she laments that she cannot control love.

Circe's love for Odysseus is inconsolable, and although she dislikes that she has no real power over him, she is truly heartbroken, covering up her disappointment with disbelief. While Circe is accustomed to turning the men who love her into caged animals, she is now in their position, pining for someone far away.

Carpe Diem

by William Shakespeare

‘Carpe Diem’ by William Shakespeare is a love song from Twelfth Night, sung by Feste the clown/fool. It’s about love and youth. 

Love is a very important theme at work in this poem. The speaker is wrapped up in the love they want to share with their mistress.

The Confessional

by Robert Browning

‘The Confessional’ by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue following a woman who is betrayed for her blind faith.

The main character of this poem is in love with a man she had slept with out of wedlock. She does everything she can to cleanse his soul and do what she believes is right. You can see her love for him in her excitement to heal him, and from her descriptions of the night they spent together.

Life in a Love

by Robert Browning

‘Life in a Love’ by Robert Browning is an obsessive love poem in which a speaker tells the person they’re in love with that no matter how many times they’re torn down; they’re always going to get back up. 

Love is a very powerful theme at work in this Browning poem. The entire poem is focused on one speaker's unwillingness to give up on the person they love.

Paraphrase on Anacreon: Ode to the Swallow

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Paraphrase on Anacreon: Ode to the Swallow,’ is a translation of a Greek lyric poem in which the speaker explains that love constantly (and annoyingly) inhabits their heart.

'Paraphrase on Anacreon: Ode to the Swallow' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is not the most famous love poem, and it's not even one of the poet's best love poems. However, with its universal theme of heartache, it is timeless and appeals to a very broad audience.

Sunlight on the Garden

by Louis MacNeice

‘Sunlight on the Garden’ by Louis MacNeice is a poem about change, death, and accepting that life eventually ends.

The poet has just gotten divorced from his wife and is dealing with that change in his life.

The Idea of Ancestry

by Etheridge Knight

‘The Idea of Ancestry’ by Etheridge Knight is concerned with family relationships and how important being with those you’re related to is. 

The speaker feels a great deal of love for his family.

The Quilting

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

‘The Quilting’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a very short love poem that reveals the speaker’s growing affection for a woman named Dolly.

This love poem is relatively universal, using devices and ideas from many better-established poets from history, such as Sappho and other love elegists. However, by reinterpreting these devices into an American scene of a woman quilting while a suitor watches from afar, this poem takes on a new life as a glimpse into the everyday, ordinary life of a black American man and woman.

My True Love Hath My Heart

by Philip Sidney

‘My True Love Hath My Heart’ by Sir Philip Sidney is a Shakespearean sonnet. It captures the intensity and depth of two people who experience love at first sight.

The poem’s main purpose is to describe the somewhat fantastical and intense emotion that is love. Although somewhat repetitive in its images, it does convey the power with which such a feeling can affect a person. Though given the poem's literary context, it’s also important to read as a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

Summum Bonum

by Robert Browning

‘Summum Bonum’ by Robert Browning is a fairly straightforward and memorable poem about love and how it is far more important, and valuable than any beautiful summer day or shining gemstone. 

Love is, without a doubt, the most important theme in the poem. This is, despite the fact, that love does not enter the poem until the final lines when it is revealed what the poet is comparing bees, gems, and pearls to.

Twenty-One Love Poems XIII

by Adrienne Rich

‘Twenty-One Love Poems XIII’ by Adrienne Rich is a poem about same-sex relationships and how couples in them experience a new, uncharted love. 

Love is the most important theme at work in this piece. The poet's allusions suggest that she was interested in describing same-sex relationships, something that she commonly did.

To a Dead Friend

by Langston Hughes

‘To a Dead Friend’ by Langston Hughes is a depressing poem about the ways death can permanently alter one’s ability to see or feel joy.

In a lot of ways, the poem's expression of grief stems from the pain of no longer being able to show someone you love them. It's an act of love that drives the speaker to lament their dead friend. Though the devastation of their loss has now driven all such happiness and love from the world of the speaker.

To a Butterfly

by William Wordsworth

There are two poems by the title ‘To a Butterfly’ in William Wordsworth’s 1807 poetry collection, “Poems, in Two Volumes.” The first poem is the best-known in comparison to the latter one.

The poem's speaker expresses a deep love and appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural world, as well as for the memories of childhood play and innocence. The imagery of the butterfly serves as a symbol of this love and admiration.


by Gregory Corso

‘Marriage’ by Gregory Corso is a humorous and interesting poem about the pros and cons of getting married and everything that comes with it, like having children. 

Love is an important theme in this poem, seen through the poet's focus on finding someone to love and getting married. He's entirely consumed by it in this text.


by Edgar Guest

‘Home’ by Edgar Guest is a moving and highly relatable poem in which the poet describes the necessity of turning a house into a home and how that process plays out. 

Love is one of the primary themes at work in this poem. The speaker is very focused on what makes a home a home, and the primary way one becomes attached to their home is through relationships and love.

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