I like to consider myself a wizard of wit and words. Except when it comes to writing a love poem. I’ve written articles. I’ve written greeting cards. I’ve written sticky notes. I’ve written extremely exciting text messages. I’ve written a term paper or twelve (have you ever considered that Homer Simpson is symbol of the degradation of the modern man?). But a poem? Not so much. The closest thing I came to writing a poem was when I penned a song (songs are a kind of poetry no?) about the pigeon living on my balcony. Full disclosure: I wanted her to leave. So much for romance.
So when I was invited to a love poem workshop by Adam and Eve, I jumped at the chance. In a day and age where love is conveyed via a text message emoji, a snapchatted boob, or an obnoxious Facebook post, the mere idea of a love poem harkens back to an earlier time when the expression of love was a flowery, grandiose, over-the-top affair. Sure writing in the language of the 18th century would seem forced and out of place today, but there’s no reason we can’t write our own modern day sonnets.
As it turns out I’m more Leslie Knope than Lord Byron. But at least I was staying true to my voice and isn’t Leslie Knope more authentic anyway? Besides as anyone who’s ever loved me knows my commitment to silliness is a sign of my undying devotion. Here’s what I learned about writing a kick-ass love poem.
Don’t Be Generic
Forget all that hogwash about roses and violets (unless your loved one has a penchant for either of those flowers). Think of something specific about them. Saying “your love makes me happy” is extremely vague and can be applied to anyone from your mother to your new puppy.
Get To The Point
Stop beating around the bush. Unless it’s their bush you want to beat around. Classic poetry is often so verbose that by the time you finish reading it, you’ve forgotten what it’s about. Ain’t nobody got time for that. In today’s day and age, such language would be distracting. If you think someone is hot, just say it!
Reference Something Between The Two Of You
This is where your poem gets the chance to go from cute to extra special. When you reference something you and your lover have done something together you’re making it clear the poem and not just for someone else who’s face makes you want to sit on it.
When In Doubt Reference The World Around You
Don’t you love how poetry references mother nature? The moon, the stars, and the ocean have all made several poetic appearances. So has the world, the evening, and the daytime. If you can’t think of anything else compare them to one of the above. Or all of them.
“Your boisterous laugh makes the world around you sparkle.”
Rhyme Or Don’t Rhyme
Forced rhyming is for chumps. If you can rhyme naturally that’s fine, but if you can’t that’s OK too. Not all poems have to rhyme. As long as it comes from the heart, your significant other will get the warm fuzzies. And if they don’t, tell them they can write their own darn poem.