So, you want to write a romantic poem this Valentine’s Day for your partner? Before you pick up your finest pen, check out these tips now to avoid sounding corny or creepy!
1. Start off in one of the following directions: serious or comedic
If you want to write a romantic poem this Valentine’s Day, choose the tone and voice first. Do you want to seriously pour out all your heart’s devotion and love into a poem, or do you want to write a poem just to incite a few laughs? Sometimes the latter is better to spare yourself from any cringe.
2. Take inspiration from other poets
If you want to be serious in your poem, take inspiration from other poets to avoid sounding like a love-struck fourteen year old. You can read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Lord Bryon’s poems, or check out a collection of Rumi’s love poems. A great love poem is Frank O’Hara’s Having a Coke With You, which strays itself from boring cliches and instead, presents a moment between him and his lover sharing a drink. It shouldn’t be hard to find inspiration from a famous poet since most poets have written at least one love poem. If you choose to be funny in your poem, you can poke fun at poetry all together and make your poem as sappy and overtly sentimental as possible for the sake of laughs.
3. Use metaphors
The key in writing poetry is to elucidate emotions and feelings through the use of metaphors. Be creative when using a metaphor in your poem, but try to not be corny or cliche by saying drivels like “my love is a rose.” Metaphors are suppose to incite a feeling or reaction, so when you sit down to write your poem, avoid any metaphors that have already been said and done.
4. Do not be too weird
John Donne famously wrote a poem called The Flea, in which he tries to seduce a woman by talking about the flea that have just bitten the both of them, and how their blood is mingling inside the flea. So romantic, right? Even if you are writing a poem for comedy’s sake, sometimes being weird does not translate as funny.
5. Use Concrete Words, Not Abstract Words
The golden rule of writing a poem is to use concrete words, not abstract words. Concrete words like “flower” and “ocean” provide imagery and overall, are much stronger than abstract words like “beauty” and “truth.”
7. Do not make it too long
Sometimes the longer the love poem, the creepier it sounds. Plus poetry is all about brevity. If you do not know how to structure your poem, maybe start off with a simple haiku. Haikus are short yet sweet. The first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third and final line is 5 syllables. Easy enough, right? This might be your best bet, especially if you are a newbie to poetry.
7. Read it out loud
Before giving your partner a romantic poem, read it out loud first to see if the words flow nicely, or if you need to make any corrections. Nothing is worse than a poem that sounds like the garbage disposal running.
8. Present the Poem in a Thoughtful Way
Nothing is as heartwarming as a handmade card. Make your own Valentine’s Day card by hand and write your special, romantic poem inside. This beats the generic Hallmark stuff any day! Check out these DIY Valentine’s Day cards for guidance.