My first pick is a poem by E.E. Cummings. This poem is recited in the movie “In Her Shoes” by Cameron Diaz’s character in her sister’s wedding…I love that movie.
“I Carry Your Heart With Me”
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)
E. E. Cummings
Here, Elizabeth Barrett Browning speaks of all the ways she loved someone…the way we all should be loved.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem is “Love’s Philosophy”. My favorite is the second verse…
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Of course, my ultimate favorite is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, a verse from the Bible that goes like this:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Which are your favorite love poems?