With Valentine’s Day upon us, what better way to declare your love than with a poem? We even have five top tips to help you write a love poem:
- Read a range of love poems to get some inspiration.
- Decide what type of poetry you want to write.
- Think about the feelings you have for the person you are writing to.
- Find a way to make your poem unique and personal.
- Proofread your poem to make sure it is error free.
For more detail on writing romantic verse, check out our guide below.
1. Read Some Classic Love Poems
Love has long been a favorite topic for poets. Famous examples include “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns, “Sonnet 18” by Shakespeare, “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron, and “How Do I Love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
These are classics of the genre, so they’ve shaped the language and style we expect from love poems today. But many modern poets have come up with new and interesting ways of saying “I love you” in poetry as well.
John Cooper Clarke, for instance, imagines himself as a vacuum cleaner:
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
Let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
Similarly, Frank O’Hara finds passion in the ordinary in “Having a Coke with You,” while Roger McGough keeps it short and sweet in the four-line poem “Beguiling.”
These examples show you don’t have to stick to a serious or overused formula.
2. Choose a Poetry Form
There are many forms of poetry. Popular choices for love poems include:
- Sonnet – A style of poetry most associated with Shakespeare. At only 14 lines long, a sonnet is perfect for expressing strong emotions.
- Acrostic – A poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word (e.g., the name of your beloved).
- Concrete poetry – Poems in which the words form an image on the page. An easy option for a love poem would be a heart, but why not go for something more personal to you and the person you’re writing for?
Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to these styles. You could use free verse, which isn’t restricted by meter or rhyme, giving you free rein to express your feelings. But picking an established form can help if you’re not sure where to start!
3. Think About Your Feelings
Before you start writing your love poem, think about the feelings you are trying to express. Think about the person you are writing to and how you feel about them.
A huge range of feelings have been expressed in love poems down the ages, not just the basic idea of “love”! Whether you want to express joy, hope, passion, or fun, thinking about this first will help you set the tone of your poem.
4. Make It Personal
A good love poem should come from the heart. But how can you make sure that your poem feels truly personal? A few helpful tips include:
- Don’t use old-fashioned or overblown language, including words like “thee” and “thou,” just to sound like Shakespeare. Use your own voice instead!
- Avoid clichés, such as overused metaphors and similes about roses.
- Include references to things that make your relationship special. It may be a shared love of Partick Thistle Football Club, a passion for Scrabble, or a shared experience, but details like these can help to make your poem unique.
Aim to write a poem that nobody else could have written! It should express your feelings for the person you love, not a preconceived idea of what “love” should be.
5. Proofread Your Love Poem
Finally, to show you really care, proofread your love poem to make sure it is error free. A poem full of mistakes will not convince anyone of your love, after all!
Whether you are writing a sonnet or a haiku, our editors can help you with all your proofreading needs. Submit a free writing sample today to find out more.