Poetry To Warm A Valentine’s Heart

How do you say I love you?  Poets often find images that give voice to our thoughts and express our deepest feelings about enduring love. I chose William Shakespeare, E.E. Cummings, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou and Pablo Neruda to lead us to the heart of it. (Pun intended) 

 

Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer’s Day? (Sonnet 18)

by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

 

(i carry your heart with me(i carry it in)

by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                                      i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

 and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43)

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

 I shall but love thee better after death.

 

 Touched By An Angel

by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight l

ive coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls

We are weaned from our timidity

in the flush of love’s light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see t

hat love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.  

 One Hundred Love Sonnets:XVII

by Pablo Neruda 

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   

or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   

I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries    t

he light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   

and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   

from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

Published by

Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.