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The Most Touching Love Poem

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Rescued Thread

 

Thingie 4th May 2006 08:34 PM

 

Starting this thread with one of the best love poems I came across. Down to earth, sincere, and simply beautiful!

 

Please share your favorite love poem-

 

LESSONS OF THE HEART

by Glenn J.Morris

 

Love is learned, it cannot be taught

You can be loving, and lovely is in the eye as seen by the

lover

You can be a lover to those who love you

Without loving them, but it is hard

It requires discipline; it's a job; it gets old

It deadens the soul and the soul is the heart

And the heart hardens and forgets

 

You can ove those who don't love you

But the service is empty

The devotion is wasted

And if the loved one is calluous or cruel

It wounds the soul and the soul is the heart

And the heart hardens and forgets

 

You can love with a small "l" as small "l" love is better than

no love

But it requires being false to your self

Which isn't all bad

You learn to live with other people

But the soul doesn't grow

And he soul is the heart

And the heart withers and forgets

 

You can live with a handicapped heart mistaking dependence

for devotion, approval for love

You can try to force your self to forget what is to be

complete

Put your passion into your work

Or material status/wealth/muscles/whatever

So the soul doesn't forget passion

And the soul is the heart

And the heart hungers and almost forgets

 

You can find with electric recognition the love of your soul

Soul mate! ( what a shock to find the concept is real)

Who feels you at a distance

whose touch electrifies your blood

Whose eyes hold you locked

Whose voice delights your ears

Whose laughter awakens your heart

Awakens the heart

And the soul is the heart

And the heart softens

And will not

 

will not forget

 

HCR 4th May 2006 09:46 PM

 

Ok now I'm the cynical sort who doesn't really like love poems but I do like a poem by Wendy Cope which you could call a love poem (at least parts of it are like a love poem anyway).

 

1. Prelude

 

It wouldn't be a good idea

To let him stay.

When they knew each other better -

But she put on her new black knickers

Anyway.

 

2. A Serious Person

 

I can tell you're a serious person

And I know from the way you talk

That what goes on inside your head

Is pure as the whitest chalk.

 

It's nice to meet serious people

And hear them explain their views:

Your concern for the rights of women

Is especially welcome news.

 

I'm sure you'd never exploit one;

I expect you'd rather be dead;

I'm thoroughly convinced of it -

Now can we go to bed?

 

3. Summer Villanelle

 

You know exactly what to do -

Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh -

I think of little else but you.

 

It's bliss to have a lover who,

Touching one shoulder, makes me sigh -

You know exactly what to do.

 

You make me happy through and through,

The way the sun lights up the sky -

I think of little else but you.

 

I hardly sleep-an hour or two;

I can't eat much and this is why -

You know exactly what to do.

 

The movie in my mind is blue -

As June runs into warm July

I think of little else but you.

 

But is it love? And is it true?

Who cares? This much I can't deny:

You know exactly what to do;

I think of little else but you.

 

4. The Reading

 

In crumpled, bardic corduroy,

The poet took the stage

And read aloud his deathless verse,

Page by deathless page.

 

I gazed at him as though intent

On every word he said.

From time to time I'd close my eyes

And smile and nod my head.

 

He may have thought his every phrase

Sent shivers down my spine.

Perhaps I helped encourage him

To read till half past nine.

 

Don't ask what it was all about -

I haven't got a clue.

I spent a blissful evening, lost

In carnal thoughts of you.

 

5. Some People

 

Some people like sex more than others -

You seem to like it a lot.

There's nothing wrong with being innocent or high minded

 

But I'm glad you're not.

 

6. Going Too Far

 

Cuddling the new telephone directory

After I found your name in it

Was going too far.

 

It's a safe bet you're not hugging a phone book,

Wherever you are.

 

7. Verse for a Birthday Card

 

Many happy returns and good luck.

When it comes to a present I'm stuck.

If you weren't far away

On your own special day,

I could give you a really nice glass of lager.

 

8. Love Story

 

I thought you'd be a pushover;

I hoped I wouldn't hurt you.

I warned you this was just a fling

And one day I'd desert you.

 

So kindly in your spectacles,

So solid in your jacket,

So manly in your big white car

That must have cost a packet.

 

I grew to like you more and more -

I didn't try to hide it.

Fall in love with someone nice? -

I'd hardly ever tried it.

 

The course of true love didn't fun

Quite the way I'd planned it.

You failed to fall in love with me -

I couldn't understand it.

 

9. Spring Onions

 

Decapitating the spring onions,

She made this mental note:

You can tell it's love, the real thing,

When you dream of slitting his throat.

 

10. I'll Be Nice

 

I'll be nice to you and smile -

It's easy for a man to win -

But I'll hate you all the while.

 

I shall go the extra mile

And condone your every sin -

I'll be nice to you and smile.

 

You will think I like your style;

You'll believe I've given in

But I'll hate you all the while.

 

Safe as an atomic pile,

Good as nitroglycerine,

I'll be nice to you and smile.

 

I'll say hipocrisy is vile

And give a reassuring grin

But I'll hate you all the while.

 

Set against my wits and guile,

Manly strength won't save your skin.

I'll be nice to you and smile

But I'll hate you all the while.

 

Claire 5th May 2006 01:43 PM

 

I'm a big fan of Wendy Cope, but I haven't come across that series of poems before. Thanks, HCR. She has such a distinctive style doesn't she, with the way she uses repetition, and the strong streak of cynicism and down to earth practicality in her voice. Excellent stuff.

 

This is one of my very favourite love poems, though I find it much more erotic than romantic in tone. It really gives me shivers up and down my spine every time I read it.

 

The Cinnamon Peeler

Michael Ondaatje

 

If I were a cinnamon peeler

I would ride your bed

And leave the yellow bark dust

On your pillow.

 

Your breasts and shoulders would reek

You could never walk through markets

without the profession of my fingers

floating over you. The blind would

stumble certain of whom they approached

though you might bathe

under rain gutters, monsoon.

 

Here on the upper thigh

at this smooth pasture

neighbour to you hair

or the crease

that cuts your back. This ankle.

You will be known among strangers

as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

 

I could hardly glance at you

before marriage

never touch you

--your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.

I buried my hands

in saffron, disguised them

over smoking tar,

helped the honey gatherers...

 

When we swam once

I touched you in the water

and our bodies remained free,

you could hold me and be blind of smell.

you climbed the bank and said

 

this is how you touch other women

the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.

And you searched your arms

for the missing perfume

 

and knew

 

what good is it

to be the lime burner's daughter

left with no trace

as if not spoken to in the act of love

as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

 

You touched

your belly to my hands

in the dry air and said

I am the cinnamon

Peeler's wife. Smell me.

 

========================

 

(Going to have a bit of a lie down now, I'm all overcome :o )

 

Does anyone know anything more about the poet? I'm vaguely familiar with the name, but I know nothing at all about him, or anything else he may have written.

 

megustaleer 5th May 2006 08:50 PM

Does anyone know anything more about the poet? I'm vaguely familiar with the name, but I know nothing at all about him, or anything else he may have written.

You might have heard of one of his novels...'The English Patient'? :D;)

 

mrs.dalloway 5th May 2006 10:21 PM

 

When i think of poems that i truly love my heart always skips at the reading of this particular poem by E E Cumings

:)

 

 

I carry your heart with me

 

 

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

i am never without it(anywherei 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 the soul can hope or mind can hide)

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

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

 

 

(Recently featured in the film 'In Her Shoes')

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I know the most touching love poem I've read. And I only discovered it yesterday.

 

To One In Paradise

 

Edgar Allen Poe - 1834

 

Thou wast all that to me, love

For which my soul did pine -

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrine,

All wreathed in fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine.

 

Ah, dream too bright to last!

Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise

But to be overcast!

A voice from out the Future cries,

"On! on!" - but o'er the Past

(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies

Mute, motionless, aghast!

 

For, alas! alas! with me

The light of Life is o'er!

No more - no more - no more -

(Such language holds the solemn sea

To the sands upon the shore)

Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree

Or the stricken eagle soar!

 

And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy grey eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams-

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.

 

I had to analyse this for my English A level class. Beautiful.

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Shakespeare's sonnet CXV1 means a lot to me:--

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass comes;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me prov'd,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

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Having put RS Thomas on the "Name that Poem" thread, here he is again, on the death of his wife....

 

We met

under a shower

of bird-notes.

Fifty years passed

love's moment

in a world in

servitude to time.

She was young;

I kissed with my eyes

closed and opened

them on her wrinkles.

"Come," said death,

choosing her as his

partner for

the last dance. And she,

who in life

had done everything

with a bird's grace,

opened her bill now

for the shedding

of one sigh no

heavier than a feather.

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The one that's always meant the most to me, ever since I first read in in my teens, is The Confirmation by Edwin Muir.

 

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face,

I in my mind had waited for this long.

Seeing the false and searching the true,

Then I found you as a traveller finds a place

Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong

Valleys and rocks and twisting roads.

But you, what shall I call you?

A fountain in a waste.

A well of water in a country dry.

Or anything that's honest and good, an eye

That makes the whole world bright.

Your open heart simple with giving, give the primal deed.

The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed.

The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea,

Not beautiful or rare in every part

But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

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Simple and yet profound Rumi has my heart opened with sometimes just four lines; Three of my favorites are posted below, Meg

 

********

 

I hear nothing in my ear

but your voice.

Heart has plundered mind

of its eloquence.

 

Love writes a transparent

calligraphy, so on

the empty page my soul

can read and recollect.

 

********

 

The Most Alive Moment

 

The most living moment comes when

those who love each other meet each

 

other's eyes and in what flows

between them then. To see your face

 

in a crowd of others, or alone on a

frightening street, I weep for that.

 

Our tears improve the earth. The

time you scolded me, your gratitude

 

your laughing, always your qualities

increase the soul. Seeing you is a

 

wine that does not muddle of numb.

We sit inside the cypress shadow

 

where amazement and clear thought

twine their slow growth into us.

 

********

 

The minute I heard my first love story

I started looking for you,

not knowing how blind that was.

 

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.

They're in each other all along.

 

********

 

These were all translated by Coleman Barks.

 

This is also my first post on this site. ~Megs

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Lovely contributions Meg. I have never heard of Rumi - one of the reasons I love BGO is stumbling across new-to-me-writers. Looking forward to seeing your introduction in Central Library and further contributions.

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Oh! This is going to get confusing :P

I think we will have to use your full name from now on megustaleer, unless we can use a shorened version like ML. Which would you prefer?

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Well, I rarely use 'meg'. I use either the full version, or just 'm.' , so either of those would do. Or meg with a lower case 'm' for me, and Meg with an upper case 'M' for Meg.

 

As long as you know which of us you are talking to :D

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I know 'Mrs Dalloway' mentioned it a while ago, but this is my favourite love poem -

 

 

i carry your heart with me - 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 the soul can hope or mind can hide)

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

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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This thread finally pushed me into tracking down the author of this poem which I've loved for years.

 

Leo Marks

 

The life that I have

Is all that I have

And the life that I have

Is yours.

 

The love that I have

Of the life that I have

Is yours and yours and yours.

 

A sleep I shall have

A rest I shall have

Yet death will be but a pause.

 

For the peace of my years

In the long green grass

Will be yours and yours and yours.

 

If anyone is interested, something I thought was a love poem had an entirely different origin which you can read about here.

 

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEmarks.htm

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Well, I rarely use 'meg'. I use either the full version, or just 'm.' , so either of those would do. Or meg with a lower case 'm' for me, and Meg with an upper case 'M' for Meg.

 

As long as you know which of us you are talking to :D

 

Plus I don't have an avatar, and it only says "New Member" next to my name not Moderator. I didn't know or I would have chosen a different name. If we're all readers here it shouldn't be too hard to differentiate between the two.

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Oh, m., what happened to this lovely sequence/thread?

 

Here's a favourite of some of the newbies on BGO. This is one of the first I set myself to memorize ... its first verse at least, - although I'd love to be able to remember it all.

 

" Lullaby"

 

Lay your sleeping head, my love,

Human on my faithless arm;

Time and fevers burn away

Individual beauty from

Thoughtful children, and the grave

Proves the child ephemeral:

But in my arms till break of day

Let the living creature lie,

Mortal, guilty, but to me

The entirely beautiful.

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What a lovely idea for a thread. I have been too cynical and am only just discovering love poetry. This is my second chance in a couple of weeks to share a poem I like very much, by Theodore Roethke, who was not on the syllabus of any course I ever took and whom I have therefore been free to discover on his own terms,

 

I Knew a Woman

 

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,

When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;

Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:

The shapes a bright container can contain!

Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,

Or English poets who grew up on Greek

(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)

 

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,

She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and stand;

She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin:

I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;

She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,

Coming behind her for her pretty sake

(But what prodigious mowing did we make.)

 

 

Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:

Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;

She played it quick, she played it light and loose;

My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;

Her several parts could keep a pure repose,

Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose

(She moved in circles, and those circles moved.)

 

 

Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:

I'm martyr to a motion not my own;

What's freedom for? To know eternity.

I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.

But who would count eternity in days?

These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:

(I measure time by how a body sways.)

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Sally by The Police

 

I was blue and lonely,

I couldn't sleep a wink

And I could only get unconscious

If I'd had to much to drink

 

There was somehow, something wrong somewhere,

And each day seemed grey and dead

The seeds of desperation

Were growing in my head

 

I needed inspiration,

A brand new start in life,

Somewhere to place affection,

But I didn't want a wife

 

And then by lucky chance I saw

In a special magazine

An ad that was unusual,

The like I'd never seen,

 

'Experience something different

With our new imported toy,

She's loving, warm, inflatible

And a guarantee of joy'

 

She came all wrapped in cardboard,

All pink and shrivelled down

A breath of air was all she needed

To make her lose that frown

 

I took her to the bedroom

And pumped her with some life,

And later in a moment

That girl became my wife

 

And so I sit her in the corner

And sometimes stroke her hair

And when I'm feeling naughty

I blow her up with air

 

She's cuddly and she's bouncy,

She's like a rubber ball,

I bounce her in the kitchen

And I bounce her in the hall

 

And now my life is different

Since Sally came my way

I wake up in the morning

And have her on a tray

 

She's everything they say she was

And I wear a permanent grin,

And I only have to worry

In case my girl wears thin

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I came across this last year when I was researching a historical novel and I love this poem for its simplicity. Anne Bradstreet was the wife of a governor of Massachusetts in the mid 1600's.

 

To My Dear and Loving Husband

 

IF ever two were one then surely we.

If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;

If ever wife were happy in a man,

Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold

Or all the riches that the East doth hold.

My love is such that rivers cannot quench,

Nor aught but love from thee give recompense.

Thy love is such I can no way repay,

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love let's so perservere

That when we live no more, we may live ever.

 

Anne Bradstreet

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Two of my favourites...

 

The good-morrow - John Donne

 

I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I

Did, till we lov'd? were we not wean'd till then?

But suck'd on countrey pleasures, childishly?

Or snorted we in the seaven sleepers den?

T'was so; But this, all pleasures fancies bee. 5

If ever any beauty I did see,

Which I desir'd, and got, t'was but a dreame of thee.

 

And now good morrow to our waking soules,

Which watch not one another out of feare;

For love, all love of other sights controules, 10

And makes one little roome, an every where.

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,

Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.

 

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares, 15

And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest,

Where can we finde two better hemispheares

Without sharpe North, without declining West?

What ever dyes, was not mixt equally;

If our two loves be one, or, thou and I 20

Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.

 

and

 

The Sunne Rising - John Donne

 

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,

Why dost thou thus,

Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us?

Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?

Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide 5

Late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices,

Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,

Call countrey ants to harvest offices;

Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme,

Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time. 10

 

Thy beames, so reverend, and strong

Why shouldst thou thinke?

I could eclipse and cloud them with a winke,

But that I would not lose her sight so long:

If her eyes have not blinded thine, 15

Looke, and to morrow late, tell mee,

Whether both the'India's of spice and Myne

Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with mee.

Aske for those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,

And thou shalt heare, All here in one bed lay. 20

 

She'is all States, and all Princes, I,

Nothing else is.

Princes doe but play us; compar'd to this,

All honor's mimique; All wealth alchimie.

Thou sunne art halfe as happy'as wee, 25

In that the world's contracted thus;

Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee

To warme the world, that's done in warming us.

Shine here to us, and thou art every where;

This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare. 30

 

Chuntzy, I love Shakespeare's sonnet 116 also.

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This might not be thought of as a "conventional" love poem - but I think it does reveal Houseman's sense of love and loss for an (unnamed) young man. The last stanza was also read very movingly by Meryl Streep (as Karen Blixen), at the funeral of her lover, Denys Finch-Hatton (Robert Redford) in a beautiful film, still very much worth seeing, "Out of Africa."

 

"To An Athlete Dying Young"

 

The time you won your town the race

We cheered you through the market-place;

Man and boy stood cheering by,

And home we brought you shoulder high.

 

To-day, the road all runners come,

Shoulder-high, we bring you home,

And set you at your threshold down,

Townsman of a stiller town.

 

Smart lad, to slip betimes away

From fields where glory does not stay,

And early though the laurel grows

It withers quicker than the rose.

 

Eyes the shady night has shut

Cannot see the record cut,

And silence sounds no worse than cheers

After earth has stopped the ears:

 

Now you will not swell the rout

Of lads that wore their honours out,

Runners whom renown outran

And the name died before the man.

 

So set, before its echoes fade,

The fleet foot on the sill of shade,

And hold to the low lintel up

The still-defended challenge cup.

 

And round that early-laurelled head

Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,

And find unwithered on its curls

The garland briefer than a girl's.

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I know that its you behind

Everything that I do

And I wouldn't try to hide

Who I am from you

It's all me that you see

I was ready for another try

But I needed you to set me free

Must be the luckiest man alive

 

Nver had the time before

Leaving things where they fell

I was going door to door

Always thinking I was somewhere else

You saw me and what I could be

Now I knowwhat love is for

It's the only thing that sets you free

Must be the luckiest man alive

 

Man finds love in his life

He's the luckiets man alive

Someone true by his side

He's the luckiest man alive

She cut right through his foolish pride

He's the luckiest man alive

 

Luckiest Man Alive

By Neil & Tim Finn

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Okay, it's not a poem, but the words are indeed poetic, and were of course penned by a great poet. That being the case, for me there is little to compare with:

 

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,

Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

 

from Romeo and Juliet, Act 3 Scene II

 

Oh, William, in the words of a more modern day lyricist/poet, "You take my breath away".

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