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5 love poems to make you swoon

Updated: May 26, 2020

Poetry, and love. Two words that just go hand in hand. Whether you want to send a special something to your loved one, want to feel inspired, or like me, you are simply in love with love itself, I present to you: my top 5 favourite poems about love.

1) Leonard Cohen ‘The Fly’

This one might actually be more of a lust poem - but either way, I just adore it. I think it so uniquely encompasses that feeling of loving every single thing about that person. So much so that you’re jealous of even a fly, just for being able to touch them.

2) Mary Angelou ‘Come, and Be My Baby’

The highway is full of big cars

going nowhere fast

And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn

Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass

And you sit wondering

where you’re going to turn

I got it.

Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow

But others say we’ve got a week or two

The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror

And you sit wondering

What you’re gonna do.

I got it.

Come. And be my baby.

I'm obsessed with poetry that is simple in vocabulary, rhyme and form, but complex in meaning and interpretation. And this poem is just that. At first, it seems simple, but the more I read it, the more layers I peel back and the more weight the words hold.

3) Charles Bukowski ‘Raw With Love’

little dark girl with kind eyes when it comes time to use the knife I won't flinch and i won't blame you, as I drive along the shore alone as the palms wave, the ugly heavy palms, as the living does not arrive as the dead do not leave, i won't blame you, instead i will remember the kisses our lips raw with love and how you gave me everything you had and how I offered you what was left of me, and I will remember your small room the feel of you the light in the window your records your books our morning coffee our noons our nights our bodies spilled together sleeping the tiny flowing currents immediate and forever your leg my leg your arm my arm your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again. little dark girl with kind eyes you have no knife. the knife is

mine and i won't use it yet.

Bitter-sweet - I love this poem for its honesty and sense of nostalgia. Even though it actually has some quite dark undertones, I think it remains overwhelmingly positive. The speaker knows that this love will end, and even shifts the blame onto himself, yet he holds no judgement. He accepts the love for what it is, and what it will continue to be for him, even after it has ended. In many ways this also makes it deeply sad. It seems to be the kind of love people spend their whole lives searching for, but he has no confidence that it will last. But it still remains one of my favourites, for its many sensuous lines, such as these:

4) Lang Leav ‘How Love Comes and Goes’

Lang Leav is one of my favourite modern poets. In the shortest space possible, she creates such a deep emotion. I've read this one a thousand times and it's still not enough.

5) W.H Auden ‘The More Loving One’

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well That, for all they care, I can go to hell, But on earth indifference is the least We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am Of stars that do not give a damn, I cannot, now I see them, say I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die, I should learn to look at an empty sky And feel its total dark sublime, Though this might take me a little time.

Elegant. A classic. I love the juxtaposition of hatred and love; how even the beauty of nature becomes irrelevant in comparison to his pain. Some of the most beautiful words in the world have come out of the feeling of unrequited love, and this is no exception.

So there you have it, my top 5 favourite love poems. I didn't want to make this post too long, but if you do want some further reading, I would also recommend the following:

- June Jordan 'Poem for My Love'

- Lord Byron 'She Walks in Beauty'

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox 'I Love You'

- Pablo Neruda 'Love Sonnet XI''

- Gwendolyn Brooks 'To Be In Love'

Let me know what your favourite love poems are by leaving a comment below:

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