"How do I love thee?" Let me count the ways...
Ever since the days of Barrett-Browning's “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” women and men have used poetry as a part of their romantic arsenal.
And I'm no different.
In fact, few people know that although I have had great overall success as a columnist and content creator, my first love is poetry. In fact, I've authored several editions.
Writing has been in my blood since the age of about 13; initially I wrote to meet the requirements of a “gifted student” program I was placed in, and later to deal with teen issues and vent.
Over the years, I found that I loved the freedom of expression that the genre of poetry affords, and the “rawness” as well.
POETRY HAS STAYING POWER…
Though poetry is gaining in popularity in recent years, it’s been with us for centuries. Did you know that poetry traces back to biblical times?
That’s right. The Books of Psalms and Proverbs are a few examples here.
AN ART FORM LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
According to an article published at VOA.COM, John Barr, head of the Poetry Foundation says “Much of the poetry written during the past 25 years was difficult to understand, and the public lost interest.
"Fine poems were being written but they were not the kind you would read in a newspaper," he said. "We're trying to get good poetry back in front of the general public."
The resurgence of recited poetry was influenced by two modern trends, beginning with poetry slams that started in the late 1980s. They are usually held in music clubs, where people can recite their own poems. The other influence is rap in hip-hop music.”
POETRY FEATURED AT PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONS AND RITZY CEREMONIES
Poetry resonates with many. So much so, that it has been recited at prestigious gatherings, from the likes of Maya Angelou to spoken word artist and Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, whom shared her eloquent piece “The Hill We climb” at today’s inauguration with President Joe Biden.
And as a fellow poet, might I add, I was filled with pride! Poetry inspires and emboldens.
POETRY HAS COURTING ADVANTAGES
As a point of reference, I've even been courted by a few poets and/or writers. And let me tell ya', it definitely gives guys an edge if they are versed in this particular area!
A case in point would be the “major crush” I have had on poet PETER MCWILLIAMS for more than a decade, though we've never met.
Here's something else you should know...
So significant in its social and artistic impact, that April is actually designated National Poetry Month.
As a sampling
Here's a poem I wrote many moons ago about a former relationship.
I ONCE LOVED A POET
I once loved
Loved how he caught me up
In his rhythm and flow
On wine-laced nights
Loved his sense of delivery and timing
The beat of two hearts
Can still remember
His great attention to detail
The beautiful way
His touch would often tell
What his pride wouldn't
Loved a poet
And here's another piece from poet Henry L. Jones
Can you touch me
from over there?
Let my arms reach
& hold you
as long as this thought
can keep our hope alive
when I need to feel your presence
even at this distance
and your love
POETRY MANIFESTS IN MANY FORMS...
Poetry has also provided the basic foundation for the lyrics you often enjoy in some of your favorite songs. As a matter of fact, it's very common for singers/performing artists to also express themselves through poetry recreationally.
Famous vocalists like Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Jewel, (and even romance writer Danielle Steel) have even published poetry books reflecting their work in verse, as an example. And although you may not think you have a creative bone in your body, you can create your own original pieces to endear yourself to the opposite sex. Really .;-)
Here are a few tips to enhance your efforts.
- Find something you feel is unique about the person you'd like to pen a poem for. It could be a physical trait or an idiosyncrasy. Like an usual laugh, beautiful eyes, a warm spirit, a nice figure or physique, or a flair for fashion.
- Choose the emotion you would like to evoke. Is your piece to make him/her laugh, cry, reflect, remember?
- Keep it simple. Don't try to be overly ambitious all at once. “Rome wasn't built in a day.”
- Try starting with a famous first line: “Roses are red, violets are blue,” or “How do I love thee?” Of course, you should never plagiarize, but you can do a “remake” of something that has a line or two that's easy to jump start from.
Of course, if all else fails in your efforts to create romance, you can always dedicate a poem from one of your favorite poets or share one from the numerous online websites. You’ll score fewer “brownie points” with your love interest… but it still counts.
Image credits: Pixabay.com