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Love Poems for Valentines Day

Updated on January 24, 2011

Send Her Your Best

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"How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways..." Can you creatively express love in a Valentine's Day card? When Elizabeth Barrett Browning sat down to express her love to Robert Browning, she chose to write a challenging sonnet. That's certainly an option, but there are other creative means of expression that may be less difficult.

Wouldn't it be great to include a short, personal poem inside that blank Valentine's Day card to melt your love's heart (sigh!). Here are some simple, yet effective ways to express your love that can get dramatic results!


One of the most economical, yet beautiful ways of sharing one's feelings is through the use of haiku. This traditional Japanese form of writing focuses upon a single image and is restricted to seventeen syllables divided among three metrical lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. The Japanese poet Issa (1762-1826), an expert in writing haiku, shows the longing for his wife in this example:

                               My grumbling wife--
                               If only she were here!
                               This moon tonight....

Ready to give it a try? Perhaps you would like to experiment writing a few haiku and then select one that says love best. Remember to try to focus in one a single moment or image in writing haiku!


Another option to consider that is also fun and easy is the acrostic. This poem limits itself to the beginning letters of your love's name, written vertically down the page. Each line begins with the particular letter of the name and can be either a single word or full sentence in length. Here's an example for "Marsha."

                                 Many hearts are aching tonight
                                 At Heritage Park this July
                                 Reveries of Marsha abound
                                 Secrets only Love knows
                                 How the wind catches her hair
                                 Always smiling.


The diamante is a poem in the shape of a diamond. Well, diamonds are a girl's best friend.... This poem follows strict rules: the first line is a single word related to your title. Line 2 contains two adjectives about the topic; line 3 -ing words about the theme. Line 4 , comprised of four nouns, serves as a transiton between the two topics or themes of the poem. Line 5 contains three -ing words about the opposite theme as will line 6 include two adjectives. The poem ends with an antonym of line one.


                                           miserable, lifeless
                                        unfeeling, pretending, pouting
                                      silence, stillness, joy, ecstasy
                                          delightful, magnetic

Concrete Poetry

Artistically inclined and love to play with letters and words? The phrase "concrete poetry" coined in the 1950s, refers to poetry that conveys the poet's meaning through careful and creative arrangement of letters and words. Thus, your poem could take the shape of a heart, rose, valentine or other objected associated with love. A classic example is William Carlos Williams poem about Buffalo Bill that actually took the form of a bullet (very pointed). To look at some contemporary examples, visit poetry. There you will find concrete poems by Ernesto Santiago, Rinaldo Rosa, Alan Sondheim and others--to get a better idea. So if you would like your poem to be more of a picture, consider this.


Returning to a more classic form of poetry, our fifth Valentine option is the tanka. Tanka or "short song" was first developed in the seventh century in Japan. It is similar to the haiku in that it is concerned with presenting an image and doing so in a limited amount of syllables, one configuration being a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern. The tanka adds emotion to the original image, often in the form of commentary. You need not be concerned about capitalization or punctuation as the tanks does not begin or end with either, though it may be used at your discretion. And no need to add a title. Enjoy this playful means of expression!

                                 shy Corvette swerves beside
                                 heart racing underneath the hood
                                 sleek finish, nice skin
                                 sharp, shiny pouting red lips
                                 in the female's reflection

Free Verse

A sixth idea does not rely upon any formula and is aptly named "free verse." Free as a bird, you may ignore prosodic restrictions. Use your imagination and let your feelings take form. Many great poets have produced stunning poems over just a few short lines. Robert Frost comes to mind as does the San Francisco poet, Richard Brautigan, another master of the short poem. Here's my example:

                       Delight is when I see you smile,
                       I crave that picture.
                       It's like a film
                      That keeps reeling from an old projector
                      Running nonstop
                      In a locked room. . .
                      I refuse to turn it off.

Now it's time to give it a try. Find a blank Valentine's Day card with a cover that you feel your love would adore. Choose one of the methods illustrated above and get to work. Have fun and most importantly, write from the heart. Trust your feelings. Valentine's Day for your special other may be extra special this year.

Copyright 2011  All rights reserved.


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