Love Poems For Valentine's Day

Published on Thursday, February 14, 2013 in , , , , ,

Natalie Roberts' magnetic poetry photoHappy Valentine's Day!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share a few favorite love poems. This might seem like a strange turn to many regular Grey Matters readers, but I've actually discussed poetry quite a bit on this blog.

Let's start with one of the most classic love poems of all time, “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)” by...William Shakespeare, right? Surprise! The author is actually Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Poetry can be an excellent way to improve your mind, in terms of both memorization and understanding. Memorizing a poem, which you can learn to do here, helps you carry it with you, and offers more time to think and ponder the meanings involved. Having a poem in your mind is a big advantage over leaving it on a page in a book. Shmoop.com's poetry section has wonderful guides to classic poetry. Their analysis of “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)” is a great example, as it gives you background, summaries, and plenty of other information to help develop a better understanding.

This is love poetry as it is generally imagined - written in a loving, longing tone, full of rich, romantic imagery. That isn't a hard and fast rule, however. A more unusual tone can often help a love poem stand out, such as the darker tone of Edgar Allan Poe's “Annabel Lee”:

Shmoop.com's analysis of “Annabel Lee” starts with a great analogy to music. Once you've been pulled in by his greatest hits, like “The Raven”, it's fun to discover the intensity of this tale of love lost.

Love poetry can also be funny. If you read the text of “Root of Three”, it would sound more like a math equation than a love poem, but watch how the delivery makes a startling difference (NSFW due to language):

I've included this poem not just because it's a good example of tone, but because I know Grey Matters readers often like at least a little mathematics in the post. Fans of this type of love poem might also be tickled by “Wolfram|Alpha, Be My Valentine”.

May your Valentine's Day be filled with love, humor, and thoughtfulness!

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