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...

Love Comes Quietly” by Robert Creeley
Love comes quietly…

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

Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)” by Bob Hicok
I don’t have much time. I’m an important person…

For What Binds Us” by Jane Hirshfield
There are names for what binds us…

The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings.” by Donika Kelly
I am taken with the hot animal…

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

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

syntax” by Maureen N. McLane
and if…

The Imprint” by Jennifer Moxley
We will count on these walls…

"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 …

Imaginary Morning Glory” by C. D. Wright
Whether or not the water was freezing. The body…

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

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Poems Addressed to a Beloved

"To Dorothy" by Marvin Bell
"To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet
"How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Praisesong” by Sarah Browning
The School of Night & Hyphens” by Chen Chen
"Heart to Heart" by Rita Dove
Of the Irresolubleness of Diamonds” by Monica Ferrell
"Resignation" by Nikki Giovanni
Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney
"Yours" by Daniel Hoffman
"Song to Celia" by Ben Jonson
[To find a kiss of yours]” by Federico García Lorca
"A Gift" by Amy Lowell
San Antonio” by Naomi Shihab Nye
"Falling" by Patrick Phillips
"Twenty-One Love Poems [Poem II]" by Adrienne Rich
"Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]" by Christina Rossetti
"Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
[And sometimes I know I am having a feeling]” by Matthew Siegel
"After the First Child, the Second" by Mary Austin Speaker
"Galaxy Love" by Gerald Stern
"You Make Love Like the Last Snow Leopard" by Paige Taggart
In Each Look Our Years” by Edwin Torres
"poem I wrote sitting across the table from you" by Kevin Varrone
"Love Poem" by Susan Wheeler
Sonnet w/ Rose” by Matthew Yeager
"Ditty" by Kevin Young
"Blue Vase" by Cynthia Zarin

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...

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” by E. E. Cummings
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond…

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

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

The City is Peopled” by H. D.
The city is peopled…

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

The Awakening” by James Weldon Johnson
I dreamed that I was a rose…

"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 …

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

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

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

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

"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...

Vivien’s Song” by Alfred Lord Tennyson
‘In Love, if Love be Love, if Love be ours…
 

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Erotic Love Poems

Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes, III” by Francisco X. Alarcón
At the Touch of You” by Witter Bynner
These Hands, If Not Gods” by Natalie Diaz
"Kinky" by Denise Duhamel
"A Greek Island" by Edward Hirsch
"Stridulation Sonnet" by Jessica Jacobs
A Tuesday Night” by Douglas S. Jones
Mystery” by D. H. Lawrence
"The Ecstasy" by Philip Lopate
Not Doing Something Wrong Isn’t the Same as Doing Something Right” by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
Touched by Dusk, We Know Better Ourselves” by Sasha Pimentel
Prague” by Khadijah Queen
North Wind” by Lola Ridge
"Antique" by Arthur Rimbaud
"My Bright Aluminum Tumblers" by Michael Ryan
Center of the World” by Safiya Sinclair

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Friendship Poems

"I Love the Hour Just Before" by Todd Boss
Song Out Here” by Juan Felipe Herrera
"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
All I Ever Wanted” by Katie Ford
"Self-Portrait at 36 w/ David" by Ellen Hagan
When You Leave” by Twyla M. Hansen
I May After Leaving You Walk Quickly or Even Run” by Matthea Harvey
What I Did Wrong” by Marie Howe
Multiple Man: Guest-starring me & you” by Gary Jackson
Poem Number Two on Bell’s Theorem, or The New Physicality of Long Distance Love” by June Jordan
Holding Pattern” by Timothy Liu
Love Elegy in the Chinese Garden, with Koi” by Nathan McClain
"Are You Going to Stay?" by Thomas Meyer
"Ode to Love" by Jennifer Militello
To Love Impuissant” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Beside You on Main Street" by Jillian Weise
Our Many Never Endings” by Courtney Queeney
"Sometimes with One I Love" by Walt Whitman
Russian Ending” by Jerry Williams

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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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