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Inspire Love

…with a few good words

Roses are red and chocolates taste great, I like your style, let’s go on a date. Corny, sincere, pleasant or tongue in check, the gift of words is a unique present for that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

“It doesn’t have to be brilliant, just something your friend will be pleased with.”

Kelly Cherry, Virginia’s Poet Laureate

For those who find love poetry difficult and intimidating, advice from Amy Young, Alexandria’s Poet Laureate, and Kelly Cherry, Virginia’s Poet Laureate, should help overcome the initial hesitations.

“Find something you have in common with someone else, start with what’s known,” said Young. “Keep it simple and as concrete as possible. Express your heart through the world you both can see, hear, smell, touch and taste.”

According to Alexandria’s Poet Laureate Amy Young, would-be bards attempting to write a love poem from scratch might consider a list poem. Begin a list poem with a repeating phrase such as “I love you like …”, “You remind me of …”, or “When I think of you, I think of ….” Although the poem does not have to rhyme, rhythm is recommended. Ending a poem with “I love you” never hurts.

It doesn’t take a master wordsmith to write a love poem. Rhyme, metaphor and formatting are details that can be ignored as long as there’s a personal touch.

According to Cherry, the three basic rules of a Valentine’s Day love poem are to focus on your friend or lover, rhyming is optional, and to keep it clean unless you are a master of subtlety.

A Love Poem, By Amy Young

I love you like …

snow days

the sound of waves,

movies and the carousel

I love you like …

Friday afternoons,

football,

friends and Philadelphia,

I love you like …

the constellations in the sky

sweaters in Maine in July

and fireworks on the 4th of July

I love you

“It doesn’t have to be brilliant, just something your friend will be pleased with,” said Cherry. “To be safe, attach it to a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates.”

A dressed up poem can win affection just as much as the words themselves. While a handwritten note adds a personal touch, a nice font on nice paper can also charm. The extra touch is important because it shows thoughtful consideration.

“Find something you have in common with someone else, start with what’s known”

Amy Young, Alexandria’ Poet Laureate

If all else fails simply use the words from poetry greats in a way to make them personalized. Cut and paste lines from an array of poems and include the poet names on the back. The result is a unique and personalized work that can convey meaning in ways a simple Hallmark Card is unable to.

“Poetry can say something in ways you can’t say in prose,” said Young. “The value of poetry is to see the world with another set of eyes.”