How To Write a Perfect Love Poem
How To Write the Perfect Love Poem
Any schmuck in love can write a decent love poem. But that doesn't make good romantic poetry any less of a commodity. If you want to write the perfect love poem, that king of romantic gestures, sure to push you into the good graces of your beloved's embrace; if you want to write the kind of perfect poem that will mean something and say something and bare your heart, you will need to know what you are doing.
Romance can be simple.
To write a perfect love poem, you need to know what you want to tell your loved one; you will need a compelling message, and "I love you" isn't going to cut it. To write a perfect love poem, you will need to spend some time thinking about imagery and metaphors and meter and all of those things that make a love poem special. This isn't a haiku, and it isn't something you can throw together. To write a perfect love poem, you will need to know the perfect person you are writing for, unless you are an exceptionally gifted writer or your muse is a sap. In any case, writing love poems takes more skill than you'd think. Read on for tips on how to make your romantic poetry ring true, thoughts on how to write a perfect love poem, and an example of a poem I wrote using these simple suggestions.
Lilacs and thumbtacks, strewn across the wall..."
You Need to Say Something.
To write the perfect love poem, you need to have something to say; a compelling message that will be able to convey some truth. And "I love you" isn't enough.
The best romantic poetry isn't direct or blunt and doesn't hit the reader over the head; instead, your love poem should be nuanced, and convey emotion as a side effect of another message. Shakespeare's greatest sonnets are about a thousand things other than women, but speak of true love all the same. By writing with a message and about a subject other than "I love you," you give yourself the chance to write a perfect poem that isn't sickly sweet or so boring it inspires sleep over sentiment.
In my example poem "Lilacs and Thumbtacks" below, I write about traveling and exploring together, and about marveling over my partner's knack for art and love of beaches. I write about a map on our wall that smells of flowers. This poem is about being together second, and traveling together first; about exploring and seeing the world and becoming artists together. And it is about love of course. But it doesn't say "I love you" and doesn't say "let me count the ways," it says "we will fly together."
Lilacs and thumbtacks painting redwood trees..."
You Need to Know Your Muse
If you are going to have anything decent to say, you better know a thing or two about your muse.
The perfect love poem isn't a monologue or essay; it's a conversation with the person who inspires you. You aren't just describing your muse or telling them something sweet, you are telling them exactly what they want and need to hear to feel loved, because you know everything there is to know about this person and you know what it will take to tug on their heartstrings.
In "Lilacs and Thumbtacks" below, I focus on travel for a particular reason; my partner and I have been talking recently about running away for tropical islands, and I know this is something she wants more than anything. I talk about her art and her eye for beauty because I want to encourage her to keep painting and seeing and loving the places she sees. This isn't a poem for anyone, it's a poem for her.
Lilacs and thumbtacks posted on a map..."
You Will Need To Use Some Technique
"Let me count the ways" and "roses are red" has been done. You are going to need some technique to pull off the perfect love poem.
Central to romantic poetry is imagery; use of metaphor and descriptive language will help you set a sentimental tone in your work, and help you convey your romantic intentions towards your muse. And don't forget about rhyme and meter. Structured poetry applies itself well to the romantic genre, as anything free form or unstructured might look like your poem is sloppy or you didn't put any effort into your work.
In "Lilacs and thumbtacks," I spent a lot of time developing a specific meter which I stuck to throughout the piece. See if you can count the syllables and see where my stress patterns lie, and see where I chose to use hard and soft rhymes. See if you can parse out some of my imagery; your metaphors need not be complex or elaborate, but can be direct and simple, making it easy for your muse to understand your feelings. Don't get too fancy with things, but try to think about incorporating some conventions of classical poetry in order to make it apparent that your work was an honest effort.
The Bottom Line...
You can't throw a love poem together. Or you can, but it won't be worth much. Instead, be very deliberate about your romantic poetry. Write a specific message, know something useful about your muse, and use some classical techniques like rhyme and structure. Put some honest effort into your work, and you can end up with the perfect love poem by incorporating these three easy suggestions. For an example of a poem I wrote using these straightforward tips, read "Lilacs and Thumbtacks" below. See if you can find the three suggestions I focused on above, and then get to work writing your own perfect love poem.
If you have questions about incorporating these three easy techniques into your perfect poem, feel free to write a comment below.
Lilacs and Thumbtacks (an example Love Poem)
Lilacs and thumbtacks,
strewn across the wall.
I wonder where we’ll run to next?
I wonder where we’ll fall,
our backs laid down on softest grass;
the wind, an old friend, calls.
And then, the stars, their lands in tow
peek through the night.
Let’s count them all.
Lilacs and thumbtacks
painting redwood trees.
In every corner, beaches wait;
or jungles? rivers? seas?
I wonder what you’ll draw today?
I wonder what she sees
in all these colors
and unknown worlds;
A paintbrush in the breeze.
Lilacs and thumbtacks
posted on a map.
A scent of blue seeps through the cracks;
you lie there on my lap
dreaming of islands and white sand,
I dream back, whisper “please?”
“Let’s fly together
and head for sun,”
two lilacs in the breeze.