Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
With Valentine’s Day coming up this Sunday, the girls at The Broke and the Bookish decided to make this week’s “Top Ten Tuesday” a Valentine’s Day-themed free-for-all. And since I’ve been looking for an opportunity to talk about poetry anyway, I decided to take advantage of this week’s topic to write a list of favorite love poems (in no particular order).
1: “Glanmore Sonnets, X” by Seamus Heaney
I won’t say this poem is perfect, but it is a Seamus Heaney sonnet, so it’s pretty darn close.
2: “When You Are Old” by W. B. Yeats
Perhaps a little cliché by now, but that matters not a whit: it’s still one of my favorites by Yeats, as well as the poem that made me fall in love with his work in the first place.
3: “Innocence” by Patrick Kavanagh
Granted, this isn’t a usual love poem, because it’s about love of a place rather than love of a person. But as Kavanagh himself said in a different poem, “nothing whatever is by love debarred.”
4: “If You Were Coming in the Fall” by Emily Dickinson
Like most everyone else it seems, I cut my poetic teeth on short little poems by Dickinson. This one was and still is one of my favorites from her.
5: “The Otter” by Seamus Heaney
Ordinary poets might compare their beloved to a bird, maybe, or perhaps a deer: extraordinary poets, however, can compare their wives to otters and get away with it. Heaney was one such extraordinary poet.
6: “The Sun Rising” by John Donne
Somehow, I don’t think I can write a post about love poetry and not include something by Donne.
7: “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet
Another poet I would be remiss not to mention is Anne Bradstreet. She was one of my first favorite poets, and this poem in particular has stuck with me ever since I first read it years ago.
8: “For Annie” by Edgar Allan Poe
Sure, it’s dark and morbid as only Poe can be, but I still love it for its musicality (and for the irony of writing a love poem about death).
9: “If You Came” by Ruth Pitter
I’ve just started to dip into Ruth Pitter’s work, but this poem in particular strikes me with the depth of feeling that its seeming simplicity belies.
10: “Creation Day” by G. K. Chesterton
Last but by no means least, we have this lovely quatern that our very own Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote to his wife Frances shortly after they were married in 1901.
What about you? Do you have any favorite love poems? Any favorite poems of any sort? Let me know in the comments.