Love Poems

Whether you're searching for words to express a classic courtship or modern relationship, a passionate love or a lovely friendship, or a love that's painful and complex, we've curated a selection of popular love poems for you to choose from, from the classic to the contemporary and everything in between. What better way to express one’s feelings of love and passion than through reading and sharing a poem? 

Contemporary Love Poems

"My Heart" by Kim Addonizio
That Mississippi chicken shack...

"Negotiations" by Rae Armantrout
The best part…

"In Our Late Empire, Love" by Malachi Black
drops from upper air...

"In the dark we crush" by Julia Cohen
Crab apples for the sound of it...

"Heart to Heart" by Rita Dove
It’s neither red …

"Love in the Morning" by Annie Finch
Morning's a new bird...

"All I Ever Wanted" by Katie Ford
When I thought it was right to name my desires …

"The Wall Hanging I Never Noticed" by Dorothea Lasky
I never noticed before how the red flowers...

"Someone" by Joseph O. Legaspi
Somewhere someone rises …

"Electrons" by Ruth Madievsky
The eye chews the apple …

"Chess" by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Exactly four different men have tried…

"How to Love" by January Gill O'Neil
After stepping into the world again...

"Divine Overdose" by Matthew Rohrer
We are even more modern …

"Galaxy Love" by Gerald Stern
There’s too little time left to measure …

"Love Poem" by Susan Wheeler
My mother wouldn’t stand up …

"Things Said To Be Ineffable" by Mark Yakich
A book decorates

"Poem to First Love" by Matthew Yeager
To have been told “I love you” …

"Blue Vase" by Cynthia Zarin
Because you like to sleep at dawn with curtains drawn…

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Love Poems for Her

"To Dorothy" by Marvin Bell
"Yours" by Daniel Hoffman
"Falling" by Patrick Phillips
"Twenty-One Love Poems [Poem II]" by Adrienne Rich
"Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
"poem I wrote sitting across the table from you" by Kevin Varrone
"Poem to First Love" by Matthew Yeager
"Ditty" by Kevin Young

Love Poems for Him

"To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet
"How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Paul's Tattoo" by Mark Doty
"Resignation" by Nikki Giovanni
"After the First Child, the Second" by Mary Austin Speaker
"You Make Love Like the Last Snow Leopard" by Paige Taggart

Classic Love Poems

"The Buried Life" by Matthew Arnold
Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet...

"Serenade" by Djuna Barnes
Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute …

"Love" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We cannot live, except thus mutually...

"Meeting at Night" by Robert Browning
The gray sea and the long black land...

"She Walks in Beauty" by George Gordon Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night...

"Love" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All thoughts, all passions, all delights...

"Wild Nights – Wild Nights! (249)" by Emily Dickinson
Wild Nights - Wild Nights!

"Eros" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sense of the world is short …

"Of Love: A Sonnet" by Robert Herrick
How love came in I do not know...

"Song to Celia" by Ben Jonson
Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes...

"Ode to Psyche" by John Keats
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung …

"Endymion" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The rising moon has hid the stars …

"A Gift" by Amy Lowell
See! I give myself to you, Beloved!

"Love" by James Russell Lowell
True Love is but a humble, low-born thing…

"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my love...

"The Definition of Love" by Andrew Marvell
My Love is of a birth as rare...

"To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
Had we but world enough, and time...

"The White Rose" by John Boyle O'Reilly
The red rose whispers of passion...

"Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]" by Christina Rossetti
I wish I could remember that first day...

"What Was Told, That" by Jalalu'l-din Rumi
What was said to the rose that made it open was said...

"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)" by William Shakespeare
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)" by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...

"The Look" by Sara Teasdale
Strephon kissed me in the spring...

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Erotic Love Poems

"Kinky" by Denise Duhamel
"Rime Riche" by Monica Ferrell
"A Greek Island" by Edward Hirsch
"Stridulation Sonnet" by Jessica Jacobs
"The Ecstasy" by Philip Lopate
"Love Poem" by Audre Lorde
"Antique" by Arthur Rimbaud
"My Bright Aluminum Tumblers" by Michael Ryan
"Hurricane Song" by Kevin Young

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Friendship Poems

"I Love the Hour Just Before" by Todd Boss
"After the Movie" by Marie Howe
"For N & K" by Gina Myers
"How I Am" by Jason Shinder
"Friend," by Jean Valentine

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Poems about Heartbreak and Difficult Love

"The Embrace" by Mark Doty
"[I Failed Him and He Failed Me]" by Katie Ford
"Self-Portrait at 36 w/ David" by Ellen Hagan
"Are You Going to Stay?" by Thomas Meyer
"Ode to Love" by Jennifer Militello
"Beside You on Main Street" by Jillian Weise
"Sometimes with One I Love" by Walt Whitman

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Essays on Love & Poetry

Poetic Pairings
Learn how to pair the perfect poem with sweets, drinks, and flora for your partner on Valentine's Day.
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Eros and the Lyric Imagination
by Marilyn Hacker
Eros is often the fuel of the lyric imagination, which chooses to use words, sentences, musical structures of language to re/member the beloved, to enter that inexhaustible source of—not uniquely “carnal”—knowledge which is another person’s body and mind.
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All My Poems Are Love Poems: When Two Poets Fall in Love
Love poetry is about as old as love itself, from Homer’s vision of Penelope’s steadfastness, to the biblical Song of Solomon, to Shakespeare’s sonnets for his “Dark Lady” (or, some speculate, Dark Lord), to Keats’s love songs for his own depression. Most poets, at one time or another, write their way into the hearts of their chosen partners, but sometimes something slightly more unusual happens: two poets fall in love with each other.
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Dear Dainty Delicious Darlings
To poets such as Lewis Carroll, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Charles Olson, Alexander Pope, Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, and W. B. Yeats, love letters were the means by which they could send “A hundred thousand kisses, darling!” (Joyce) or just “a hundred and eighty-two” (Carroll), whether they had been “prepared by drinking” (Pope) or written “wildly...not stopping to think” (Dunbar). Read letters to and from these poets and more.
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Books of Love Poetry

Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelley

Isn't It Romantic

Collected Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Collected Sonnets

For Love by Robert Creeley

For Love

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