Monday, August 16, 2010

Love Poems: Yum or Yuck?

My wife and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary last week. Well, "celebrated" might be a stretch--we went out to dinner at one of our favorite local joints, but no presents were exchanged or anything like that. We pretty much gave that up when we had kids and money seemed to get a lot tighter. I did, however, chew on the idea of sharing a poem about marriage or anniversaries or the like with my wife. I tried to find one, I really did, but...I don't know, maybe I was being too particular. I just couldn't find the right one for us.

I am partial to "Touch Me" by Stanley Kunitz. But I've shared that with her before. I was hoping to find something new. And it couldn't just be any ol' love had to be right for us, you know? That, I think, is the hardest part.

I wish I could tell you that I made a gift of the perfect love poem and could share it with you at this point, but I couldn't come up with anything. Maybe next year. And I think I decided that "love poems"just aren't my thing. They don't do anything for me, not the mushy ones at least. I guess I'm partial to the more subtle poems about love, a description that I believe definitely applies to "Touch Me." Or to a poem like "For What Binds Us" by Jane Hirschfield.

Here's one that I found that I like, but I'm just not sure how much I like it yet. Sometimes there are poems that need to marinate for awhile with me before I can really connect with them. See what you think:

Tree Marriage

In Chota Nagpur and Bengal
the betrothed are tied with threads to   
mango trees, they marry the trees   
as well as one another, and   
the two trees marry each other.
Could we do that some time with oaks   
or beeches? This gossamer we   
hold each other with, this web   
of love and habit is not enough.  
Please read the rest of the poem at The Poetry Foundation.


  1. That look on William Meredith's face in the Poetry Foundation photo kind of freaks me out. I feel like he's going to give me an "F" in reading his poetry. ;-)

    Giving your wife a poem is a cool idea. There's always Valentine's Day. Some poems about love on my blog:

    (BTW, I started my blog this summer, but I re-posted old entries from my website. So my blog is new even if it looks old.)

  2. Oh, this is beautiful. And I love the idea behind it...I, too, stink at writing love poems. I get sappy, and I hate sappy. Or I avoid sappy but then become distant. Just not a strength of mine, I guess. But reading wonderful love poems like that!

    Happy anniversary!

    P.S. I'm with Tabatha on the poet's scary-stern face.

  3. There is no right or wrong way to write a poem. It's an expression of you. Wonderful job.