Why not go beyond chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day, birthday or any other day, and write a romantic poem for your loved one instead? A poem is personal, demonstrates effort and shows you notice the details about your significant other. With a few literary tips you do not have to be Shakespeare to express your feelings in finely crafted sentences.
Finding Your Inspiration
Beginning a poem can be difficult, so find a source of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Read published love poems such as Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 or 18, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee?” and “i carry your heart with me” by e. e. cummings. Use a photo of you and your significant other together or come up with a list of places you have visited for motivation.
Choosing a Form
Depending on how much effort you want to put into this poem, you can also consider playing around with different poem structures. The sonnet, consisting of 14 rhyming lines of 10 syllables each, has been considered the quintessential love poem ever since Petrarch wrote the first one in Renaissance Italy. The more structured your poem, however, the harder it will be to write. Free-form poetry, which follows no pre-existing structure, is the easiest to write.
Crafting Your Sentences
Many inexperienced poets tend to churn out poems high in emotion but low in originality. Try to avoid writing cliché, non-interesting statements such as “Love is like a rose” or “You are beautiful.” Instead, try to be specific by including details. Think about the color or texture of her hair, or how good she smells. Try to convey what his skin feels like, or why or in what way she is sweet. Additionally, aim for subtlety rather than bluntly spelling out an idea. For example, rather than writing “You are beautiful,” describe the features that make her so.
Using Metaphors and Imagery
Literary devices such as imagery and metaphor add depth and richness to your writing. Imagery is detailed description of something, sometimes called a “word picture.” Detail the colors, sounds and sights of a place or an object in your poem so that the reader can recreate the image in his own mind. Metaphorical language compares two things that have a perceived commonality. “Love is a red, red rose” is a metaphor that points out how love and roses are similar. Consider what your loved one reminds you of.
Editing for Perfection
Less is more in poetry. Look back over your poem and see if you can write any phrases more concisely. If your poem is free-form, divide it into stanzas (paragraphs) wherever you have introduced a new topic. In free-form poems, punctuation is optional. Use punctuation for emphasis or leave it out when you wish lines to flow together freely.