Wednesday 30 April 2008

You Don't Have To Be A Genius To Write A Love Poem

Love poems are a wonderfully romantic gesture and can often express your thoughts far more eloquently than verbal communication.

If you have some talent with words, why not take a few moments and try your hand at writing a poem for your lover? Just sit down and list all the reasons why you think they're special. Then put them into some kind of free verse format: a wide column of lines, roughly the same length, which may rhyme but don't need to.

Even if your poem won't win any literary prizes, the person you present it to will most likely treasure it as if it were composed by one of the great Romantic poets. People tend to value a personalized gift far more than one that's purchased. What they're really appreciating is the time and effort invested on their behalf.

I'd like to share a story of the first time I received a love poem.

When I was twelve years old I had a crush on Robert, the new boy in my class at school, and he had very generously decided that I was "cute". One afternoon we were waiting with some classmates at the bus stop when he announced that he didn't like me anymore. He was now in love with my best friend, Julie.

I was so incensed by this betrayal that I lunged at him and chased him down the street. He swerved into the gutter and I bolted after him just as the bus pulled in. It hit me from behind and I went down. The bus then ran over my right foot.

A short time later, the ambulance arrived and the paramedic driver examined me. He decided that I didn't need hospitalization so he drove me home with instructions to spend the next six weeks in bed. Meanwhile, a distraught Robert was blaming himself for the accident. He asked the other children at the bus stop where I lived, and walked the two miles to my house. Then he sat across the street on the pavement, wondering if my father would strangle him if he knocked at the front door.

A couple of hours later he worked up the courage to confront my father, which turned out to be something of an anti-climax because my father had no idea about Robert's part in the drama. When Robert tiptoed into my room he handed me a sheet of paper; he had written a poem for me as he sat across the street from my house. I remember how thrilled I was that someone would do such a thing. It was like something out of a novel or a movie.

I kept that poem, which ran to one and a half legal pages, for a number of years, until it disappeared when we moved house a decade later. But I still remember the first four lines:

Her name is Marguerite
I very much like that girl
She means much more to me
Than any gem or pearl

That was a lifetime ago and yet those words remain in my memory.

As for the boy himself, by the time I got back to school Robert had moved on to greener pastures (he now liked my best friend's new best friend). But that hardly mattered as I was now a minor celebrity because I got hit by a bus while chasing a boy. The nuns had a field day praying for my soul, which was not the last time they'd engage in that futile exercise.

My right foot is still a little flatter than my left but it was worth it for the notoriety. And hey, Robert, wherever you are, thanks for the memory.

Using Other People's Love Poems

If you don't have Robert's literary talent, there is another option. Find an existing poem that best expresses how you feel and present it to your lover inside a greeting card or gift.

There are a number of sites online that offer love poems. You can find a list on our web site or do a keyword search.

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