Poetry Tow Truck 7: All You Need is Love

Anything but Ordinary – Love Poems

Valentine’s Day is Monday, and instead of going against the grain, today I will challenge you to write a love poem. But try to make yours unique.

Option One: Everything Old is New Again

“and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you” – ee cummings, “i carry your heart with me”

These lines by cummings use traditional love poem images of the moon and the sun, but they are used in his own special rhythm and syntax. For this exercise, write a love poem that uses traditional images (flowers, candy, hearts, sunsets) in completely, unique and different ways.

Option Two: The Anti-Love Poem

“I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;”

My two favorite lines from Shakespeare’s  Sonnet 130 (“My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun”), probably the most famous anti-love poem ever written.Write your own anti-love poem – show the faults and foibles of the one you love while showing that you care.

Option Three: Start far, far away. Then come close with details.

Here is an example from my chapbook Womb/Seed/Fruit (Finishing Line Press, 2010):

Testament

There will be no statues erected to

our love. But there is a place outside

of Budapest where statues of Lenin

and Stalin have gone to die. They mark

what has changed, what has been left

behind, prove the past existed.

I keep smaller mementos in a drawer:

a poem you wrote when we first met,

concert tickets from bands one of us hated,

but saw just to make the other happy.

I could throw them away, but I don’t.

I like to be reminded, especially of these

ordinary things I sometimes take for

granted. I hear your voice call from

the kitchen –you can’t find your keys.

If someone asked me to build a monument

to bliss, it would this, you calling from

the kitchen, me answering.

So write a love poem that starts somewhere else and ends up close to home. And whichever love poem you try, take a moment to be thankful for those you love.

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11 thoughts on “Poetry Tow Truck 7: All You Need is Love

  1. Besides loving the poem because I love your poems, I have been to Statue park in Budapest, so greeted the opening of the poem with a cry of recognition. I have been niggling at a poem about the statues but it won’t come, yet. Someday.

  2. Pingback: the art of love | lost in translation

  3. Pingback: Friday Freeforall: The Usual Suspects and Two Newcomers « Wordgathering

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