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Los Angeles Poetry Examiner's Friday Pick: Great Love Poems by Great Poets

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The greatest loves in history have been told, read about, and even professed in great poetry. Here is a short list and special collection of some of the greatest love poems.by some of the greatest writers of our time.

Happy Valentines Day from The Los Angeles Poetry Examiner <3

Lovers: don't forget to send flowers, bring chocolate... or say it in a poem. Below are some good links, if you don't write it yourself

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Risk

~by Anaïs Nin

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

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Love Poem by Charles Bukowski

I will remember the kisses

our lips raw with love

and how you gave me

everything you had

and how I

offered you what was left of

me,

and I will remember your small room

the feel of you

the light in the window

your records

your books

our morning coffee

our noons our nights

our bodies spilled together

sleeping

the tiny flowing currents

immediate and forever

your leg my leg

your arm my arm

your smile and the warmth

of you

who made me laugh

again.

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SHE walks in Beauty

~by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824

SHE walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that 's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes

Thus mellow'd to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress

Or softly lightens o'er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

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THE KISS

~by Anne Sexton

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool !

Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

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How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

~ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 every day's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the 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 love thee better after death.

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Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day SONNET 18

~by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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To Earthward

~by Robert Frost

Love at the lips was touch

As sweet as I could bear;

And once that seemed too much;

I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,

The flow of- was it musk

From hidden grapevine springs

Down hill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache

From sprays of honeysuckle

That when they're gathered shake

Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those

Seemed strong when I was young;

The petal of the rose

It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt

That is not dashed with pain

And weariness and fault;

I crave the stain

Of tears, the aftermark

Of almost too much love,

The sweet of bitter bark

And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred

I take away my hand

From leaning on it hard

In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:

I long for weight and strength

To feel the earth as rough

To all my length.

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Ardella

~by Langston Hughes

I would liken you

To a night without stars

Were it not for your eyes.

I would liken you

To a sleep without dreams

Were it not for your songs.

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XVII (I do not love you...)

Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Translated by Stephen Tapscott

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Every Breath You Take

~by Sting

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you.
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you.
Oh can't you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take.
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you.
Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace.
I dream at night, I can only see your face.
I look around but it's you I can't replace.
I keep crying baby, baby please
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you.
Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you.......

And lastly, though not in the list of greats, a poem about love from The Los Angeles Poetry Examiner for you.

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Many Loves

There are many types of love,

and I am going to tell you of

their names and definitions,

One love is called “Eros”

E-R-O-S...

named after the Greek love God,

the son of Aphrodite,

Goddess of love and beauty,

in Rock ‘Roll and Roman,

She was Venus…

When he lay eyes on her,

he felt his warm blood rising

and he’s an animal,

it’s a dog’s life bite the bitch.

Call it passion with lust -

Eros

Another love type is called “Philio” P-H-I-L-I-O not

to be mistaken for Middle Eastern pastry dough, It is

love at first sight and then Romance,

the first 2 weeks of love try

to make it last 2 months

or a lifetime...

Kissing on the beach

leaving poetry on her car,

a flower,

love song hook lines stuck in your head,

and Baby can do no wrong,

oh no not my baby...

oui, enchante Amour

Philio.

And there is ‘Stergo” S-T-E-R-G-O

also Greek, and the definition is, “loving dearly and naturally”

this is the love that lay at the base of camaraderie,

fellowship and brotherly love…

“Brother! brother! Dude! Que paso ese!

How’s your woman? You look fine!”

The two men embrace, locked into their past running days,

and they are bonded, devoted, compadre, comadre,

This is my homeboy,

This is Stergo.

“Agape” - one love A-G-A-P-E also Greek.

It is spiritual, non-physical, sacrificial, not a human love,

but, unconditional.

Oh Most High, Spread your love, that we may know it as ours,

to love one, to love All, without exception.

And when the night and the cold come to contrast the light,

Let us slumber under the warmth of Your Spirit.

Yes, there are many loves of many names and definitions and know this:

Love is a gift and sometimes a decision,

and the love You reside in...

Be your Choice.

~Yvonne de la Vega

Los Angeles Poetry Examiner

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Links for love poems:

Short Love Poems

Love poems from The Poetry Foundation

Famous Love Poems

Famous Love Poems. Love Poetry by Famous Poets

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