Roses are red, Violets are…I guess I should leave the love poems to the experts. And there are so many experts to choose from. Since there’s been poetry, there’s been love poems. Whether it’s the love of friendship described between Gilgamesh and Enkidu or the romantic love Homer describes between Penelope and Odysseus or Paris and…himself, poets have been writing about love for a long time. Since the days of epic poetry, poets have used sonnets, free verse, villanelles, slam poetry, short poems, and even instagram poetry to describe love.
These love poems I’ve collected vary widely. Some are classic love poems. Some love poems were posted on social media this year. Some rhyme. Others don’t. Most are romantic. A few are sad or angry. All of them are beautiful. All of them are about love.
1. “Any Lit” by Harryette Mullen
You are a ukulele beyond my microphone
You are a union beyond my meiosis
You are a unicycle beyond my migration
2. “To the Girl Who Works at Starbucks” by Rudy Francisco
3. “Atlas” by U.A. Fanthorpe
There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it
Which checks the insurance, and doesnt forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;
Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists
4. “When a Boy Tells You He Loves You” by Edwin Bodney
5. “When You Come” by Maya Angelou
When you come to me, unbidden,
To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.
6. “Sonnet 29” by William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
7. “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare
8. “Untitled” by Christopher Poindexter
9. “It is Here” by Harold Pinter
What sound was that?
I turn away, into the shaking room.
What was that sound that came in on the dark?
What is this maze of light it leaves us in
10. “Valentine” by John Fuller
11. “Echo” by Carol Ann Duffy
I think I was searching for treasures or stones
in the clearest of pools
when your face…
when your face,
like the moon in a wel
12. “It’s all I have to bring today” by Emily Dickinson
It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
13. “Untitled” by pavana
14. “To the Desert” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know.
You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
15. “A Glimpse” by Walt Whitman
A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
16. “I Wanna Be Yours” by John Cooper Clarke
17. “I Wanted to Make Myself like the Ravine” by Hannah Gamble
I wanted to make myself like the ravine
so that all good things
would flow into me.
Because the ravine is lowly,
it receives an abundance.
18. “Queen Anne’s Lace” by William Carlos Williams
Her body is not so white as
anemone petals nor so smooth—nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
thefield by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
19. “When Love Arrives” by Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye
20. “To You” by Kenneth Koch
I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
That will solve a murder case unsolved for years
Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
Through which he saw her head, connecting with
Her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
Roof in her heart. For this we live a thousand years;
21. “Polarities” by Kenneth Siessor
Sometimes she is like sherry, like the sun through a vessel of glass,
Like light through an oriel window in a room of yellow wood;
Sometimes she is the colour of lions, of sand in the fire of noon,
Sometimes as bruised with shadows as the afternoon.
22. “Untitled” by Amanda Lovelace
23. “When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
When we are old and these rejoicing veins
Are frosty channels to a muted stream,
And out of all our burning their remains
No feeblest spark to fire us, even in dream,
This be our solace: that it was not said
When we were young and warm and in our prime,
24. “Witch Wife” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.
25. “Typewriter Series #2091” by Tyler Knott Gregson
26. “Rondel of Merciless Beauty” by Geoffrey Chaucer
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.Only your word will heal the injury
To my hurt heart, while yet the wound is clean—
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
27. “To An Army Wife in Sardis” from Sappho translated by Mary Barnard
To an army wife, in Sardis:
Some say a cavalry corps,
some infantry, some, again,
will maintain that the swift oars
of our fleet are the finest
sight on dark earth; but I say
that whatever one loves, is.
28. “The Good Morrow” by John Donne
29. “A Love Song for Lucinda” by Langston Hughes
Is a ripe plum
Growing on a purple tree.
Taste it once
And the spell of its enchantment
Will never let you be.
30. “Twenty One Love Poems” by Adrienne Rich
31. “I Love You” by Carl Sandberg
I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little.
32. “For Him” by Rupi Kaur
33. “Untitled” by Rupi Kaur
34. “Sonnet XLIII”” 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.
35. “Falling Stars” by Rainer Maria Rilke
Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes—do you recall?
36. “Photograph” by Andrea Gibson
37. “Litany” by Billy Collins
38. “Love Poem” by Audre Lorde
Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.
39. “Defeated by Love” by Rumi
The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
I fell to the ground
40. “Habitation” by Margaret Atwood
Marriage is not
a house, or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
41. “Desire” by Alice Walker
is always the same; wherever Life
I want to stick my toe
& soon my whole body
into the water.
42. “Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath
“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
43. “somewhere i have never traveled” by E.E. Cummings
44. “love is a place” by E.E. Cummings
love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
45. “Untitled” by Aman Batra
46. “Your Feet” by Pablo Neruda
When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
47. “The World as Meditation” by Wallace Stevens
48. “Bluebird Typewriter Poetry #7” by Sean Bates
49. “Married Love” by Kuan Tao-sheng, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung
You and I
Have so much love,
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
50. “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali
51. “Love Is a Fire that Burns Unseen” by Luís Vaz de Camões, translated by Richard Zenith
Love is a fire that burns unseen,
a wound that aches yet isn’t felt,
an always discontent contentment,
a pain that rages without hurting,
52. “Never Give All the Heart” by W.B. Yeats
Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
53. “How to Love Your Introvert” by Kevin Yang
54. “Seduction” by Nikki Giovanni
55. “Camomile Tea” by Katherine Mansfield
Outside the sky is light with stars;
There’s a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.
How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.
56. “Will You Still Love Me?” by Arielle Wilburn
57. “Naming The Heartbeats” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
58. “When I Say That Loving Me Is Kind of Like Being a Chicago Bulls Fan” By Hanif Abdurraqib
What are your favorite love poems? I’m basically addicted to love poetry now, so let me know what I missed in the comments. Want even more love (like lots of it)? Check out our list of 100 Must-Read Books With ‘Love’ In The Title.