Give Your Love a Poem

I've been looking around to find the best collections of love poetry for you. Here is a selection to choose from by Find a poem that speaks to (and from) your heart, then write it out or recite it to your love

The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing by Rumi
Translated by Coleman Banks.

There is no shortage of love poetry books featuring the work of Rumi. A Persian poet in the thirteenth century, Rumi is well known for writing about all kinds of love—from the romantic to the religious. 

The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Obviously, we can’t talk about love poems without talking about the sonnets. While you’ve no doubt heard several of these poems more times than you can count, there are many more that don’t get the attention they deserve. With 154 pieces, there is a little bit of every aspect of love in these pages. 

The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu
Translated by Jane Hirshfield

Though western readers may be unfamiliar with Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, these two women are historic figures in Japanese poetry. Komachi was considered the perfect example of feminine beauty and Shikibu was known for her affairs with multiple princes. Hirshfield herself is an accomplished poet and her translations of this stirring poetry are carefully and beautifully crafted.

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho
Translated by Jane Carson

One of the most famous queer poets of all time, it surprises many to learn that only one of the ancient Greek poet’s works survived intact. This collection presents the surviving remnants and scraps of Sappho’s work. Carson has included footnotes and appendices, but the poetry itself is presented in a simple, beautiful style. Even in pieces, Sappho is a master of love poetry.

Felicity by Mary Oliver

Oliver published her first poetry book in 1963, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, and has produced many books and collections since. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until releasing Felicity in 2005 that she delved into matters of the heart. Fans and newcomers alike will be moved by her candor.

Haruko / Love Poems by Jane Jordan

In addition to collecting previously published love poetry from Jordan, this book contains poems written to Haruko, the woman who was her lover in the ’90s. Jordan presents not only the excitement and joy of love but also the pain and anger that can come when love faces rejection.

Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

Another essential poet on the matter of love is Pablo Neruda. Walk into any book store in the world and you’ll find some collection of his love poetry. It's easy to see why it is so loved—powerful, sensual, undeniably passionate. These works were scandalous when originally published in the 1950s, but are truly a perfect balance of the emotional and the physical.