Sunday, November 29, 2015

WRITING LOVE WELL


LOVE.   It's a many splendered thing, a fantasy, a hope.  It is patient and kind and keeps no track of wrongs.  It sees the best, always.  Whether you believe it can be found at first sight, or that is is slow and graceful to bloom, it can change you forever.  It burns in our hearts like fire and cools like the summer rain.  It is the one perfect thing we have in this world....

"Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!  Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.  The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.  Did my heart love till now?  Forswear it sight!  For I ne'er saw true beauty until this night" (Romeo, Romeo and Juliet).   

"You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love...I love...I love you, and never wish to be parted from you from this day forth"  (Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice).


"I almost wish we were butterflies, and lived but three summer days; three such days with you, I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain" (John Keats, Love Letters to Fanny Brawne).

"A kiss, when all is told, what is it?  An oath taken a little closer, a promise more exact.  A wish that longs to be confirmed.  A kiss is a secret which takes the lips for the ear, a moment of infinity...a way of breathing in a little of the heart
and tasting a little of the soul..." (Cyrano from Cyrano de'Bergerac).

Let's talk about romance.

Love is blind, they tell us.  But just how blind?  Blind enough, apparently, to ignore the fact that so many of those tales we hold up as iconic love stories are overflowing with murder, betrayal and abandonment.  Think about it:  all those magnificent weepies about impossibly beautiful love turned out to be just that:  impossible.  There's Titanic, Camelot, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Cyrano de Bergerac and my favorite, Romeo and Juliet.  That's really the oldest and weepiest of them all, isn't it?  A pair of wildly smitten teenagers.  Feuding families.  Angry friends.  No good can possibly come of that.  And it doesn't.  By the end of the play, six people are dead, including the two lovers, a priest is shamed and two powerful families are consumed with grief.

Never mind.  We still think of it as a great love story.  And even after 400 years, we can't keep away from it.  The same is true of the classic we are currently reading, Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, which in many ways, is just as iconic.  I think it's due to several reasons really.  First, because the first part of the story, when the two young teens fall in love, and when Cyrano is first able to boldly declare his love for Roxanne under the disguise of night and the guise of another identity, we hope the outcome of of the story will change, somehow.  Love like that is something everyone knows or longs for.  Secondly, that rush of love...that hope that transcends the desperation of our time, well, these are things we just can't get out of our head, nor can we get enough of.

There's always a new way to tell the story and always a new audience for it.  These are characters that everyone understands.  Romeo and Juliet and Cyrano are rare stories where different generations can find something quite personal.  We want something our parents just cannot understand, and we want it with our whole soul.  We lose our courage to go after what we really want most because of our own personal insecurities and doubts, mixed with the cruel words of others in our childhood, which still  have the power to haunt us.  This is what makes them classics.  This is what makes their themes universal.

Finally, there is the writing, itself.  Though in my experience there is little evidence to the contrary, we, as ladies hope beyond hope that somewhere out there is a boy who can sweep us off our feet with a well turned verse of a deep and boundless love.   Something magical, beautiful, and extraordinary.  Somehow, his words will make us something brighter, and give us a love and romance that is as eternal as the stories penned so long ago by the masters of love verse.

No matter how we spin it, these universal themes and platitudes mean nothing if they aren't written well...if the words don't make our heart skip a beat...if they don't make us hold our breath in longing and wonder.  Just as great works of art begin with the color and brushstroke, great love stories start with the words woven masterfully onto the blank page.

Now that we've established that, it's time to do some reading!  The two links here provide what are considered the best Love Poems and greatest Love Letters of all time.

1.  Look through them, and tell me your favorites and why.
2.  Then, choose one poem to read in its entirety and give me your analysis of it.  What makes it one of the greatest?

Love is one of the great mysteries of life...it is a little kiss of the angels here on earth that, whether you are a die hard Neo-Romanticist or dedicated Realist, makes life a little sweeter...a little more worth the effort.

It is "the canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination,"  and the madness of it is "the greatest of heaven's blessings."  (Voltaire and Plato, respectively).

http://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/greatest-love-poems.php


74 comments:

  1. Personally, I actually adore love poems. I adore how they’re written, how they sound at two o’clock in the morning, and how they make you believe in love more strongly than anything else. Love poems are what’s needed to make the world become kinder, sweeter, and more passionate. Love makes people think they are indestructible.
    My two favorites of the list are "Annabel Lee" and “Love’s Philosophy”. (Another favourite that’s not included is Sylvia Plath’s, “Mad Girl’s Love Song). I absolute adore these two because they are aren’t cheesy; they are raw and full of emotion. Edgar Allan Poe makes you grieve with him for his lost love, you can feel how much he loves her, how much she meant to him. You can relate to him because everyone has a lost love, and bringing it up once again gives you the pain of the loss over again. “Love's Philosophy” also tears at your heart because he does not have a love. Everything else comes in pairs, but him. There’s this doubt in the back of your mind and you think, What if I become like that? What is there is no one for me? Because what is a turtle dove without its pair.
    I find “Annabel Lee” is more enjoyable because of Poe’s lack of rhyme scheme. Whenever I have written poetry, I find that rhyme scheme just gets in the way. My favourite lines of this poem are "But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we-- Of many far wiser than we-“(27-29). because the passion of their love is truly alive. They love stronger and more so than anyone around them and it was ripped out of their hands before they were ready. They deserved to have time together, they deserved to grow old together. You wish you could give her back to Poe from the sea, but you know you can’t and you know that his soul died with her. To conclude, this poem really is a classic because it does everything a love poem should do. It makes you dream, makes you grieve, and it gives you hope.

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    1. Oh, how I love your last line! Yes, love is best expressed in the most powerful of emotions, and grief is one of those. Love that! Sylvia Plath is another good one. I am actually surprised she was not on the list.

      I love that you talked about the relatability of love poems. Really, that is the core of their power...well-written yes, but they must also tug at our soul to make us feel a little more alive. Well said.

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  2. I personally love poetry, especially poetry about romance and the beautiful things that life has to offer. A few of my favorites from this list include: Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art, Meeting at Night, and Annabelle Lee. I like how John Keats can talk about this person he loves so deeply but can come back to reality and realize that he may not last forever, but his love will. In Robert Browning's poem I like the message that I got from the poem, that love has various obstacles but at the end it's honestly worth going through those tough times. Both poems both have that connection to nature as well, which I enjoy because when you compare love to nature in my opinion it symbolizes that the love is eternal because nature is eternal as well.
    I was excited to see on the list that Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe is on the list for the top ten greatest love poetry of all times. You wouldn't really picture Poe as a romantic because of his dark short stories, but his poetry shows another side of him the romantic side we all have inside. I first have to say that I enjoy this poem a lot, I can honestly feel what affection he had for Annabelle. Their young love was so great that the heavens were jealous and took Annabelle from Poe. In this piece there is a more intimate and uplifting tone, because he took her death and he romanticized it. The rhyme scheme in the poem makes the piece flow nicely, so does his heavy imagery. In my mind I can picture the storm taking his love and ocean waves hugging her tombstone. Overall I love this poem because of its message that the person you love can die but the love between their souls shall forever remain on earth.

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    1. I love two things: one, that you were surprised by Poe. :) Yes, I believe that it is probably his soft, romantic heart that brought about his end. It is what creates his mystery, I think. Second, that you have focused on the theme of timelessness. So perfect and true! Your choices tie together this way. I think it illustrates that different writers across time and boundaries, say the same things about love. It it the greatest thing that ties us all together.

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  3. When found in its truest and purest form, love is intrinsically the most desirable and noble component of human existence. Its depth exceeds the oceans of the world by the same degree as those oceans dwarf a single droplet of water. Its intricacy making the webs of spiders appear as crude as a toddler's Play-doh construction. Yet, for all that vastness, love defies all attempts to truly convey its beauty. Anyone thrust into its depths finds themselves incapable of relating their experience to others, of watching the same light fill the souls of their audience as they themselves are filled with. As I know too well, attempting to truly convey love is impossible, and a maddening frustration at ordinarily capable hands failing the heart so tremendously. Because of this, and due to the incredibly wide range of emotions that the word love is misleadingly used to describe, I believe it is the task of any poet, or writer, to convey some part of the truth of love. If even a small section can be conveyed, its beauty will be enough to resonate dramatically with the reader, such is the power that can be tapped into.

    The love letters had some very powerful pieces, with several catching my eye. I will address two of them with a common theme. Napoleon writes to Joséphine of how his love for her only grows stronger with time, despite separation, of how each day he adores her more and more. Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams of how her affection was heightened and improved by time, and how the dreary years of their separation did not remove him from her mind. In each case, I believe that the writer expresses two truths about love, which is that it only grows with time, and that it cannot be weakened by the separation of lovers, unlike lesser emotions which may fade within days of separation.

    Among the poems, I was particularly impressed with Sonnet 116 and Annabel Lee. Annabel Lee telling a tale of two lovers whose love burned so bright as to cause the angels of heaven to be filled with envy. The tragic death of Annabel Lee is not enough to destroy the author's love for her, the bond of their souls persists through death, defying the powers of Heaven or Hell should its destruction be attempted. Sonnet 116 does not use such a specific story, but still addresses the idea that love does not change with time or the weather, but rather remains a shining star for the lover to gaze upon, even to the edge of doom.

    A more detailed analysis of Sonnet 116 follows:

    Sonnet 116 is written in iambic pentameter with the typical sonnet rhyme scheme of every other line being paired except for the last two, which rhyme with each other. This rhyme scheme makes it easier to memorize the words, and to read them aloud, which adds another level of awareness as to the poem's message. Using this clever and artistic method of presentation, William Shakespeare presents the image of love as that which does not change to fit the world around it, and cannot be turned off. Time is powerless against love, which endures to the end, a beautiful treasure to hold onto, though we may have little else. The message itself contributes much to its status among love poems, presenting the same truths as those expressed in letters written centuries later, while the presentation of the message in a sonnet makes it much easier to recall and ponder than a long passage. If the same message had been expressed in a more difficult manner, its truth might have failed to resonate with so many readers who have and will yet feel wonder at finding these words which fit so perfectly with their own emotions. This careful and considerate presentation of a message is the goal and duty of all writers, whether they write of love or apathy, treachery or heroism, and is well worth continuous study.

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    1. Sonnet 116 always reminds me of Corinthians: in the end, three things remain-faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love. It remains. Time, distance, tragedy...nothing can destroy it. That is what makes it impossible to capture in mere words (as they are bound in time and by arbitrary meanings) but it makes it a noble adventure to try! :) Glad to hear you back on the blogs!

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  4. I am a huge hopeless romantic. When words are used to express infatuation, tenderness, or attachment to a significant other, I can just about go weak at the knees. Reading all of these poems made me feel warm and happy, but one that stood out to me the most was the poem written by Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash. What stood out to me the most was how despise how simple the word choice was, it spoke volumes. Normally, I love fluffy language because of how beautiful it sounds. But the simplicity of this and how much it could speak without complicated words, metaphors, or glorified concepts makes me think of how much love truly came out of the message. How no big words were needed to just explain how much he loves her. While I think big gestures show a lot of time and effort, I believe sometimes others need to take into consideration how much heart can go into small gestures as well.

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  5. Poetry is not my absolute favorite, but I do enjoy poems about love. I do enjoy the rhyme schemes in some poems very much! My favorite poem out of the list is Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. It gives relateable qualities, not just to me, but to everyone. Everyone in the world has something/ someone and Everything in the world something/someone. No things or person is alone, we work together, we unite as a whole. I get the sense that the author was very optimistic, giving self worth, value, and appreciation. My favorite exert is his opening staterment, "The fountains mingle with the river". For some reason my senses are woken in this statement. I picture waves of crisp, clear, cool water crashing down in the spring. The meticulious wording and structure make this poem worth while.

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  6. Poetry and I have a love hate relationship, I think analyzing it in school makes it seem like way too much, but on my own I am a sucker for those quotes you see on Pintrest about love and personal growth. The love quotes are especially my favorite, most of us have had that one person (even in high school I know) that makes us feel like we are floating. The letter to Victor Hugo from Juliette Drouet is the kind of love I think all of us long for. The first line "I love you becasuse I love you" is the most perfect line I have ever read. She doesn't give a reason to her love, because she shouldn't need one. She expresses that them being together will make him love her as much as she loves him. That is the power of relationship in my eyes. I also like how she is straight forward, she knows that she wants him and that's what makes it so powerful, and in my eyes one of the greatest love letters I have read.

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  7. I read through all the poems on the list, and found myself perplexed, as many of them didn't seem romantic to me at all. They were more morose, as if the authors set out to describe what love is, and instead described what it isn't.
    After thinking on it for a while, I'd have to say my favorite on the list is Maud by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The part where the flowers are arguing with each other is a bit odd, but other then that I love it. The poem has an eerie, longing feel, almost as if Maud were a figment of the narrator's imagination. I think the narrator seems a bit obsessive over her. The imagery in the poem is gorgeous, filling your mind with the sights and smells of the night garden. I think I like the poem for the overall feel and beauty, rather than the message.
    In the letters I had no trouble at all picking a favorite. The letter I liked best was the letter from Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash. It's absolutely adorable! I love how he talks about how they know each other so well, that sometimes they forget to appreciate each other, but every so often he remembers how lucky he is. Then to top it off, he calls her princess. I can't get over how sweet the sentiments expressed are.

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  8. Personally, I believe the most incredible part about love is how raw it can feel. As its core, love can create the most intense passion and most crushing heartbreak in a person. With "real" love (whatever that may mean to each individual), it is hard to find middle ground. What I think makes a love poem great is the ability to capture this vast yet polarized aspect of love. Annabel Lee captures the "low" side of love; how love once wonderful can also cause sadness just as great. Of course, the story there is just as tragic as the emotion, which only serves to accentuate the effect. On the other side, there is Shelley's 'Love's Philosophy'. It covers the tender yet passionate side of romance. I love how Shelley uses nature metaphors to describe the embrace of a lover. Nature is ever-changing, and contains both great splendor and great trouble. It is in many ways a perfect comparison for love. Lord Tennyson's 'Maud', for me, captures both sides of this spectrum. There is the longing for passion, and the welcoming of his lover, but also the underlying tone of death and a sort of wilting. It reminds me of Romeo and Juliet, how love can bob about on the surface of death and conflict, and struggle to remain above the surface of it. What makes Maud so striking is how Tennyson poses the question of the afterlife, and love beyond life. So often we hear, "till death do us part", but Tennyson asks why we have to stop there. He wonders if what he shared with his lover can carry on, past the point where one is gone, and wonders if it can remain the same. More structurally, the poem has short, self-contained stanzas. Each carries a distinct musing that is easy to understand individually, as well as connect later to the poem as a whole. This may just be me personally, but I found that the poem had a "soft" feel to it. While nothing jumped out of the page at me, I found I could almost float through the poem, as thoughts might flow through one's head. Perhaps this was done purposefully, to put us in the mind of the grieving lover, or perhaps I'm just imagining things. Regardless, I feel Maud carries the most philosophical and romantic weight out of the poems I've read, and that is what allows it to be so timeless.

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    1. I love everything about your analysis here...very deep, and you comment on meaning and structure. This is my favorite part:
      It reminds me of Romeo and Juliet, how love can bob about on the surface of death and conflict, and struggle to remain above the surface of it. What makes Maud so striking is how Tennyson poses the question of the afterlife, and love beyond life. So often we hear, "till death do us part", but Tennyson asks why we have to stop there. He wonders if what he shared with his lover can carry on, past the point where one is gone, and wonders if it can remain the same.
      So well said...I especially love how you describe Romeo and Juliet struggling to remain above the surface amid the death and conflict. Beautiful!

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  9. I love love poems. I think a lot of people do. I believe it gives them hope and makes them feel like one day they will be loved as much as this one person does. There are a ton of letters and quotes on Tumblr and Pintrest all about love. I think people write/read love poems because it gives off may different vibes and emotions get triggered. My favorite letter was from Johnny Cash to June Carter because I love watching the movie Walk the Line just to see the life Johnny Cash had and how he fell in love with June and left his wife. It really shows the love he has for June and it is reassuring to her. I think it gives peace of mind when your significant other is thinking of you and he/she tells you how much he loves you and that they want to have an adventure with you. Johnny had mentioned all of the beneficial things June does for him, influence him for the best, she is his #1 desire, and many more. Just reading it, makes me feel good for June and knowing that John loves her soooo much.

    I read the Meeting at Night by Robert Browning, I really liked the structure of it. Meeting at Night is so great because it is relatable. Everyone in a relationship knows what it is like to go through a lot to see their partner. Walking through the night just to see them, it is not particularly fun, but you'd be willing to do anything for them. When you get to see your partner, Browning had said two heartbeats beating for each other. Without one, the other is lonely and sad, exactly how Johnny cash would feel without June.

    Both the letter and the poem both address how much they need the other and how they feel. I love poems and letters that say how they feel to see if it is relatable or not. I think that is why I chose both of these texts, they were relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the poems and letters. They are all so sweet!

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  10. While I don't love poetry itself, I do have a soft spot for love poems, letters, you name it. I'd definitely categorize myself as a hopeless romantic, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. All of the love letters were beautifully written but Napoleon's letter to Josephine really stood out to me. I loved how he sayed "since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you... I thought that I loved you months ago, but since my separation... I love you a thousand fold more".

    It shows just how much Napoleon loved Josephine and how important she was to him. Even when they were apart, he continues to love her more and more. As for the poems, my favorite was definitely Loves Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I felt that the author was expressing the pain that comes with loving someone who loves someone else. "What are all these kissings worth, If thou kiss not me". This can have so many different meanings associated with it, from a crush to unrequited love.

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  11. My favorite love letter was the one from Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine du Beauharnais. This was my favorite love letter because I liked how he realized he loved her when she wasn't in his life anymore. People take others for granted and we don't realize what we have until it's gone. Napoleon knew this and when Josephine was no longer in his life, he knew that he loved her because she wasn't in his life anymore and he didn't like that. " I thought that I loved you months ago, but since my separation from you I feel that I love you a thousand fold more. Each day since I knew you, have I adored you more and more."

    The poem, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, is considered one of the greatest love poems because it was a love story. It explained how they met, what life was like for them, and when Annabel Lee died. It explains what it means to be in love, and in this instance, it explained how even death cannot seperate them. "But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we-- Of many far wiser than we- And neither the angels in Heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--"

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  12. I personally liked the poems better than the love letters, because poems have hidden meanings that make the reader think more deeply about what the poet is trying to get across. My interpretation of the poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe was that of darkness and eternal love. He repeats her name over and over throughout the poem as if he hopes to never stop hearing it because he loves her so much. I also like how instead of just saying that she died he uses the phrases like, "A wind blew out of a cloud by night Chilling my Annabel Lee; So that her high-born kinsman came And bore her away from me..." he uses the rhyming as sort of a song he can sing forever. Even after her death, his love for her is so strong that he even challenges the angels in heaven and demons in hell to separate his soul from the soul of Annabel Lee. Her death makes the whole poem even more romantic but a little depressing and dark as well, and that is what I like the most about his poem. The gloomy tone of the poem is very different from other love poems which makes it a more interesting reading.

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  13. My favorite love letter out of the list is Johnny cash's letter to June Carter Cash. I like how he mentions that even though they get so used to each other, and may irritate each other some days, the love is still there. He takes time and appreciates her. He takes time to think about how lucky he is to have her, which I think is so amazing and perfect. I absolutely love when he says that she influences him for the better. Relationships are for building each other up and helping one another grow and he captures that perfectly in that simple line.
    The love poem I chose to analyze was Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare. The sonnet tries to define the meaning of love. He says that love cannot be broken and can never die. He says that love is eternal and doesn't fade even in old age. Shakespeare compares love to a star because it is eternal and unchanging.

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  14. My favorite of the poems and letters was Johnny Cash's letter to June Carter Cash, because of how straight forward it is. He describes how they already know everything about each other and yet she still amazes him. I also enjoy the way he described their relationship, because that is the same way I hope to feel about someone else later on in life.

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  15. First of all, I love this blog! Everyone who knows me knows that I am a hopeless romantic. I’ve just learned to embrace it. The poems were all beautiful, but I do have a favorite. It is Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I just think it’s beautiful to write something so thoughtful to someone. This poem just said - even though all of these things on the Earth come in twos and work as pairs, it isn’t worth anything if you don’t love me. I just like idea of taking the love you feel and applying it to something bigger than yourself to truly express it. Now, with the letters, there were three I really liked. The first was Richard Burton’s to Elizabeth Taylor. It was my absolute favorite! I don’t really know how to explain it, but I just love it. Maybe it’s because I like to take what I see in people and show them when they can’t see it. The second was Frederick Wentworth’s to Anne Elliot. It just had such a vulnerable, tortured love feeling to it. It’s wonderful that he wrote this to her, expressing how he truly feels. It’s never too late. The third letter was Juliette Drouet’s to Victor Hugo. It’s just that desperate attempt to try not to over-analyze how you feel, because you just know. Honestly, I thought this blog was wonderful. I’ve always been the biggest fan of words…and love, so this was kind of a home run for me.

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    1. I like to say I am a hopeful Romantic rather than hopeless. Hopeless goes against the Romantic philosophy of the supernatural superseding the natural. :)

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  16. I chose to write analyze the poem, "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allen Poe which was wonderfully written and because I enjoy Poe's style of writing. I thought this poem represented "true love" very well because throughout the poem Poe mentions things like, "She was a child and I was a child" and "In her tomb by the side of the sea". He writes about how they are children, another key factor that plays into "blind love". Teenagers or "children" in this case are more likely to, in a sense, create love and get the absolute most out of it. They want to love and have a desire to love making their actual love stronger; they love to love. Poe also mentions how even though his beautiful Annabel Lee now lies in her grave they are still happily in love, implying their love is stronger than death. The author creates a a constant, immovable tone as he narrates their love. He creates a sense that their love is perfect love.

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  17. It was hard to pick just one! I personally loved the letters because the small time it takes to write a letter means so much. There is so much meaning that goes into writing a letter to someone. I love getting letters and even writing them! I hope I find a love someday who does as well.
    As for the poems I opened a few and read through them. I found that they all had some kind of reference to the sea or to the night sky. I think this is because those are beautiful things and love needs to be explained and compared to beautiful things.
    My favorite of the ones I read was Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. I smiled as I started reading it and then felt my face turn as I got further and Annabel Lee passes. The way that Poe continues to say that although she was gone the love between them is still there and it will alway remain by the sea, whether in the Kingdom or in her tomb. I think that the sound of this poem, the style and the rhythm is what makes it so memorable and one of the best. On top of that it tells a love story that the reader can understand and even relate to.

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  18. I think my favorite love letter was the one from Johnny Cash. I love how he is able to word it in a way that shows that you are able to spend so much time with a person to that point that you essentially become the same person in a sense. You know so much about each other that you are just able to know how the other person is feeling, what they are thinking, their likes and dislikes, and so much to the point that you may know your partner as well as they know himself/herself. But that alone does not stop every moment you spend with that person from being the most special and precious time that you have and I love how that letter beautifully portrayed the connection between knowing someone better than the back of your hand and still enjoying every moment you can possibly spend with them. I chose to look at 'Love's Philosophy' by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I love how this portrayed everything as having a partner but in a way that shows how it all fits together like a puzzle. With the sky that is accompanied by the mountains which lead down to the river which flows out to the ocean etc. It is also said in a beautiful way with the mountains kissing the sky instead of just being with it and the sun clasping onto the earth painting an image of the sun holding earth like its child. At the end of each stanza it puts an amazing twist that suggests to another person "everything around us was made to be together and so too are we".

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    1. I, too, love that. Everything is a puzzle. If only the world could realize that, too, right?

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  19. I enjoy reading poems but love poems are one of my favorite of the types of poems. The way they are detailed and use expressions through words making the feelings come to life. In poems they create so much imagery creating pictures of the descriptions in my head as I'm reading. It is as though a movie or a short clip is playing in my mind while I'm reading a poem. With every detail I can see what is happening and how it looks or how someone is feeling. Love poems show a lot of how someone is feeling it is them expressing their love for someone or something. When reading poems you are able to create the imagery for yourself and image what it is you see, you create the story. I think that is why love poems are one of my favorites.
    My favorite poem out of all the poems was Love One Another by Khalil Gibran. The meaning that was in the poem was very powerful to me. Saying that even though married you are bonded together you still stand on your own ground. As well as to not fall under the shadows of one another, but they help each other with their own difficulties equally because they are equal with each other. I loved the line "Fill each other's cup, but drink not from one cup.", because as I read it I imagined an elderly couple smiling and laughing while the husband poured his cup and his wife's cup with coffee. I thought that was a very true and cute way to perceive the analogy of a husband and wife, being bonded together in marriage but still separate in their own ways. I could also image the wife having a cute mug that had flower designs on it and his being a plain navy blue coffee cup, but even though they both drank the same thing each of their own cups showed their personality and individuality.

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    1. I love how strongly you connected to Khalil's poem! :) AND the image of the two mugs is endearing. :)

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  20. I absolutely love poetry in all of it's forms. Although, when I write it, I'm not good at love or happy poems, only sad and depressing one's. Reading these weren't too interesting because I like things to be put a little more clever, or more of a story. Cyrano has to be my favorite because the way he tells Roxeanne he loves her is unlike anything. I actually enjoy reading the play and his lovely innuendos to Roxeanne. My favorite poem of the 10 was "Love's Philosophy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I like this one because he's having a self realization of sorts, like everything has someone, even nature, but I don't have a love. Of the love letters, my favorite was from Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot. I like this one because his love is burning for her. He can forgive her and her mistakes, and he still loves her after all that time. Maybe it's just me because I'm not such a romantic, but i feel as if I've chosen the saddest love poems of all. I wouldn't even necessarily count these as love poems only because they're more of lonely poems. Both of those people are missing someone or had their heart broken. They're lonely and without someone to love them back. Perhaps it's just me relating things into my own life at the moment, but I picked these 2 above the rest.

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  21. OK so Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly took me by storm. It's so beautiful, plus I love nature and anything related to it. I love how she added that everything had a partner and that she wanted one and deserved one. What makes this one the greatest is it's use of metaphor and personification to nature. Saying "The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean" which also works, because that's how nature works and all of it mingles with each other. Also that's how love works we mingle with each other. She is 200% Neo-romantic.

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    1. Percy is a he (I know...the name sounds feminine to me, too!) and interesting fact, he was the husband of the infamous Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein! :) Shocker, right? But I am VERY glad that this poem took you by storm. That is what good poems should do!

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  22. "And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
    Than the two hearts beating each to each."
    Oh, how I love being a hopeless romantic and I'm not at all ashamed of that. Mrs. Caraway, I agree with you what person doesn't want attention, and to be coddled and adored. A bonus of course would be if they not only write to you, but write in such a way that sounds so articulate and beautiful it makes you emotional. I'll be honest and say I am a sucker for verbal and written promises of adoration and affection. I've written letters that were written more like a poem than just an actual dialogue of my thoughts. Based on the quote I put you can tell my favorite poem was Meeting at Night by Robert Browning. I think it's beautiful to see the reality of love, how it's not all sugar and flowers. It's rough, and awkward, and scary even. And with all of that it's still two hearts drawn to each other even with the dangerous feelings of vulnerability. I think that words can be more powerful than just the physical part of love because it's so easy to be physical, you could literally do that with anyone. Writing just takes a certain skill and a type of heart for it to really be sincere.

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  23. I love reading poetry, especially the kind where you can read the emotion and passion behind the poem. In almost all of the poems there was rhyming which makes the poem so much more fun and exciting to read.
    "To His Coy Mistress" was probably my favorite poem to read on the first link. I loved the rhyming in each line. I also loved the meaning that time doesn't last forever. Andrew Marvell painted a great picture in my mind as I read through the poem, then causing me to read it a second time out loud.
    Although I liked the poems, this particular love letter stood out to me, Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine du Beauharnais. I think that this one was a favorite because it was something that I found to be very true. When you have something whether it's love or an item sure you can love it, but when it is absent you don't necessarily love it more, you just realize how much love you have for that someone/something.

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    1. I really loved that you chose "To His Coy Mistress," and chose to read it out loud. The poet would be thrilled to know that you did that. I believe poetry is best appreciated when read out loud. :)

      I also loved that you talked about how you connected to the Bonaparte letter with a meaning that is true to you. Very powerful.

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  24. I never really read poetry, but it was nice, because when i found the one that i really enjoyed, it flowed perfectly. However, before i touch on that, What i noticed that was similar between all of them, was that they compared love to something. Something like a material object or another feeling they have had. But they each shared the same soft tone someone gets when speaking of their loved one. The poem that i really enjoyed was Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. It talked of someone who had the love of their life taken form them. But even after Annabelle passed away, he still loved her like he did when she was there, maybe even more, and remained by her side each night. It was a lovely poem, and sometimes I wish more people cherished what they have while it's here, because it's true, you never know what you have till it's gone. But the nice thing about this poem, is that he knew what he had, before she was taken from him.. Now, the love letter that i liked quite a bit, had to be Churchill's letter to his wife, and even though he had so much on his plate with the war and trying to keep his country up, he still put time aside to let his wife know that he loves her and that he hopes she is doing well.. When you love someone to the point you would put everything aside for a few moments just for them, you really do have something special.

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    1. Ashley, I love that you pointed out that all the poems connected as they compared love to something else. It shows how much we depend on figurative language to convey meaning. Love is abstract, and that one word conveys an ocean of different meanings. By using metaphor and simile, we can narrow that meaning down, yet still retain the depth of love for the reader. Lovely!
      I share your love of Churchill's letter. Probably because of all the political figures throughout history and the world, he remains my favorite and the one I admire most. I wish he were alive today, because I believe we need another Churchill! But I digress. Yes, his letter to Clem shows how despite the darkness of the world, there was that candle of his love for her, and he took the time to write it down. :)

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  25. I really do adore poetry. I feel I might personally take for how much I take poetry for granted, honestly. Poetry is a beautiful and witty form of communication. Those who have the skills to be able to write it should take that skill with them for the rest of their lives. I feel poets are unappreciated as well. Besides a few of the great poets, the rest of them are shuffled with the only recognition is a hashtag in an instagram post. I also feel the poems we adore change with our emotions. I don't have a favorite poem from this list. I really did enjoy them all. Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe is one I haven't read before. It was beautiful, as expected.

    The Buzzfeed article about the 15 Love Letters is one of my favorites. Love letters really are a rare thing to see now of days. It's a shame. Johnny and June are my favorite. All of the letters I've read between them make me swoon.

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  26. My two favorite poems are “Love One Another” by Kahlil Gibran and “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I like the former mainly because of the message behind it and how it uses second person point of view to make it seem as if the author is talking directly to you and you are part of the poem. I admire the latter due to its natural flow and analogy with nature. One of my favorite letters is the one from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor because it is uplifting and includes her name which makes it that much more personalized and special. I also like the one from Winston Churchill to Clementine Churchill because it is short and sweet, and it is addressed to the nickname he gave her.

    The poem I chose to analyze is “Love One Another” by Kahlil Gibran. I can see why it is considered one of the greatest love poems. It sounds like it could be used as wedding vows if the “you’s” were changed to “we’s”. It portrays a good theme that love isn’t having to be around each other every second of the day, but to build a relationship that stays strong when you’re apart. You’re life shouldn’t solely depend on the relationship because you should focus on yourself, too. The euphonic words in the poem add to romantic factor, and it flows really well. Overall, I really enjoyed the poem.

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    1. LOVE that you pointed out the point of view of this poem! Excellent! Also, great observation....yes, this poem could be a great inspiration for some very beautiful and healthy wedding vows!

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  28. 
I actually really love poems. I love how they flow and how they can make something sound so beautiful. Overall I loved a lot of these poems, I really loved the hand written letters because its so personal and it’s sad because not a lot of people write letters to each other anymore. out of the letters, my favorite would be the one from Johnny Cash to June. It’s so adorable! Although they have been together so long and they have fought nothing have stopped them from being in love. I really loved the poem “Love One Another” by Kahlil Gibran. I love this poem because although it says to love each other it also says to not forget who you are. And to spend time with that person but also remember to spend some time with yourself. Because although you may love someone you must not lose yourself within them.

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    1. That poem gives great, healthy advice. And in doing that, you remain a better lover to your significant other. :)

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  29. Poetry has always been a very interesting topic for me. I've never felt a deep connection while reading poetry, and frankly I tend to get very frustrated when I am asked to analyze a piece of poetry. But, along with saying that I also want to point out that I will continuously try to read and understand poetry. Romance is expressed in many ways, but the most common way in writing I feel tends to be in poetry. Its flows in a way that makes your heart flutter, and sounds as soothing as an ocean. Among all of the lovely and interesting poems I read, and my favorite poem was Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. I thought that it was so sweet and innocent, that it reminded me of what the real feeling of love is. It reminded me of how the word "love" is so overused these days, and Edgar Allen Poe used a poem, and to me, that is love. Its not some simple word, its feelings that should be expressed in many different ways. This poem not only expresses his act of love, but of its strength and its true meaning.

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  30. I agree with Buzzfeed's side note to "srsly improve your texts to bae"after reading these poems. These people know how to get their feelings from their heads to paper! It's truly incredible. I really, really, struggle with that whole "mind to outside world" conversion. It makes me appreciate them so much more.
    *I’m totally going to get sappy here, FYI.
    The poems were sweet, don't get me wrong. Amazingly romantic. But, I had a hard time finding a favorite. Most of the poems were lover to lover; a man displaying his deep, deep love for a woman or vice-versa. I don't know. I guess it was hard for me to relate. I don't have that. I have never really had that kind of a relationship. So, the poem I found most relatable and touching was "Meeting at Night" by Robert Browning. The first stanza speaks of a treacherous journey to meet a significant other. The perspective is 1st person. It doesn't make it clear whether it is a male or female, which is exactly why I love it. Anyone can relate to it. Everybody must have had sometime in their life where they waited on love or fought for love. The majority of the poems spoke of what it was like to have love and to feel love. But they skipped the part about fighting for it, waiting for it. I appreciate that. Love is not just a feeling. It’s an action. Sometimes the action of love feels like crossing an ocean in the dead of night or walking for miles as the poems describes. That’s what I feel like sometimes and I’m not even in a relationship. I feel like waiting for true, actual love is so hard. I’m convinced that’s why so many people settle for less; because they don’t wait. It feels like a journey for me. My own “ocean journey” is watching all my peers being involved in seemingly genuine romantic relationships. Relationships I want. Sometimes when those thoughts creep in about never finding someone because no one wants me feels like walking miles into farm land. I know it’s not formal or appropriate to say this but I’m being honest. It really sucks. Some days, I’m done with waiting. I just want to skip the journey. Skip the walking and lonely ocean sailing and just meet love.

    I wonder how the awaiting lover in the poem felt when they saw his/her beloved at the window pane. The feelings must have been strong knowing they traveled all night across many terrains to meet. What a beautiful show of true devotion. Now, think of the opposite. Someone who isn’t willing to travel. What weak love. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I much rather travel the journey of waiting to find true love than to give up and compromise. I want that true devotion. Plus, I’m sure the traveler discovered a lot on the expedition too.

    I’m totally taking the poem out of context though. At least, I think I am. I believe Robert meant for the poem to represent the travels of a lover to another lover. I’m sure his lover wasn’t playing the waiting game. They already knew who they were traveling for. But, I took the poem to fit my context and it really moved me. It gave me an image of what I am going through and what is to come.

    Analytically speaking, there is amazing imagery in this text. “The grey sea and the long black land; And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.” Beautiful! It makes me feel like I’m there. I can feel the slushy sand slowing me down. I can see the dark, little waves and the light from the moon shining on the water around me. Perhaps, that was the author’s intent.

    I’m saving this poem. I’m going to print it or write it or something because the message is so real and so beautiful. It’s a timeless reminder of the roots of love. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Okay, I loved your post, and I need to say two things. First, don't worry about love finding you. The best way is to turn your mind to other things. Build relationships with those you meet and enjoy being around. As soon as you stop looking for it, love finds you. When you do find it, it will be worth it! Remember not to smother love, but nurture it. It's a fine balance. I love that you are not willing to compromise on what you want, but do be willing to keep open-minded to possibilities.
      Secondly, I love what you said about taking the poem out of its context because this issue of writer created meaning vs. reader created meaning is exactly what we are studying in Part 3. :D You are not wrong to create your own personal meaning from Browning's poem. Personally, I think he would LOVE that! Every writer wants to make a connection with a reader. They don't sit in judgement as to whether or not you figured out what they specifically meant, at least, most writers I know and have studied do not. The relish in the notion that something they wrote spoke to you in a powerful way. Meaning is a two way street in literature: it is what the writer communicates and what the reader interprets. I LOVE that you connected with this poem in your way. It truly illustrates the power of language.

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  31. What perfect timing! Only just a few hours ago I was watching tv with my parents when, much to my father's displeasure, I asked what love was and how it felt. These poems really give insight not to the definition, but how one is defined by love; how it feels and affects them.

    Now, I'm no hopeless romantic (too many cheesy romance novels and movies in middle school, bleh!), but I found these to be quite sweet and endearing! I enjoyed how Napoleon stated that his seemingly infinite feelings grew with distance, and the sense of being free from time in Beethoven's letter and "Maud" by Aflred Tennyson.

    My favorite overall, however, was Poe's "Annabel Lee". The fact that love and passion still remains between the narrator and his beloved Annabel Lee even after her death at the hands of the angels, jealous of their bliss and contentment in that kingdom by the sea, gives new meanings to the term "love knows no bounds". Visually, it has a beautiful format, and I particularly appreciate the repetition of "my Annabel Lee". There's just something about the happy story turned tragic and still burning just as brightly that seems. . . satisfying, heartwarming.

    "To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return."
    ~Madonna


    ***P.S.: Upon completing this post, there are 287 of the word 'love' on this page. Now who says there isn't enough love to go around? ;)

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    1. I love your last PS! That just made me happy. :)
      I am also a fan of Annabel Lee...although that choice makes you a Romantic after all! (Poe was a Dark Romanticist).

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  32. I'm not a big poetry reader, but I enjoyed these. I myself, am a hopeless romantic and I want everything about love in the stories to be true. But it's not, eh, oh well. Some of my favorite poems were the ones from Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot and the one from Johnny Cash to June Carter. These were probably my favorite because one seemed so personable and the other just seemed to have a different outlook than all the others.

    The one poem that I chose to evaluate was the one from Johnny Cash to June Carter. Johnny Cash is very personable and realistic in this letter, and you can see that June means everything to him. He uses simple, yet powerful words that really give it a sort of beautiful flow. I'm a huge fan of Johnny Cash though, so I'm probably a bit biased here, but I still think that the letter is absolutely lovely, and it's truthfulness makes is my favorite.

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  33. I'm a reluctant romantic, in a way. I'm not too fond of cliche romances and I hate love at first sight romance stories. I love relationships though, real ones that are based on more than chemistry and feelings. And I don't really do poetry or love letters. This was a hard blog to say the least. My favorite poems were Love One Another by Khalil Gibran, Meeting at Night by Robert Browning, and Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley. My favorite love letters were 5 (Winston Churchill to Clementine Churchill), 12 (Gerald Ford to Betty Ford), and 14 (Jimi Hendrix to unknown).

    My favorite of them all was the 7th love letter, Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash. I like this one because you can tell they actually have a real relationship. Their feelings (at least his) are apparent and real, but there is more than that. Feelings are important but not all there is to a relationship, no matter what kind. Many of the other letters and poems sounded utterly tragic and not like something I would want. Maybe it's just because I've never been in love, but I don't see the attraction in an all consuming love. I want something real. I want to be able to think alike and read their mind and even be irritated with them. I don't want to be consumed by something that can easily disappear. Love is more than feelings: it's a series of choices. I think that's why I like this one the best, because Johnny Cash shows there's more than that initial attraction and more than chemistry.

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  34. I got to admit, I’m a huge romantic. Which to say, I have always loved Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. The poem is elegant and breathtaking. When reading it out loud, it sounds so beautiful and you can honestly feel the love that was written with this poem. It is brutally honest. Poe believed that their love was greater than everything. And his poem made me believe so as well. Poe makes me desire a love this strong and powerful. What makes this poem evermore strong is that this was the last completed poem Poe wrote before his death. He got to write an amazing poem about his wife Virginia. He had the chance to write how passionate he was about her and how powerful their love for each other was and still is. My favorite line has to be, “But we loved with a love that was more than love -- I and my Annabel Lee -- With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me.”

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  35. I chose My River runs to thee by Emily Dickinson. Now while i'm not really what you would call "A Romantic" I can appreciate this poem. I love the way it uses bodies of water as metaphors for them and their love. Although this poem is short, it says a lot. I have always liked Emily Dickinson, Because while other old poets like Edgar Allen Poe make everything they talk about dark, and morbid, Dickinson seems to lighten the mood with capturing figurative language and happy poems. It makes me wonder, who is this poem about? Could it be her love for god that she is talking about? Is she begging him to take her when she dies? Or is it more about another person? Either way it is a beautiful poem.

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  36. Personally, I love writing poetry but my poetry tends to be more dark at times so when I read poetry I am drawn to more of the sappy ones because they aren't the kind I would write. My favorite out of them all is Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor. It is so simple but yet conveys so much meaning and emotion to one person.

    Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved” is another one of my favorites, but I want to look at it from another view. Seeing I do not having any background knowledge to whom or why he wrote it. When I first read it, I saw compassion and maybe a little hurt from the repetition of "you". From my second read through I felt the hurt, possibly the sorrow, I interpret he is saying goodbye to a loved one. The way it is written, I take the pauses as if I was saying it to someone. The way I felt after reading it aloud it felt as if my heart was empty of it's love into reading it. It opened so many emotions.

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  37. I've always found poetry very interesting. I definitely have an appreciation for romantic poetry. When reading it, it really draws me in because it's about topics that we normally don't discuss out loud. When reading all these poems and letters, it made me kind of happy because at one point someone was going to read those poems or letters, and know it was written only for them.

    The letter that greatly stood out to me was Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash. This letter is written in such a simple form and word choice, but has a great impact on the heart. There was no complex word choice or writing style, just plain English. But what makes it heartwarming is the message that it conveys. There was no need for extravagant words and gestures, because the love was already there. As a reader, I could feel the love the author had for his partner.

    From an outside perspective, it sounds as though the couple has been together for a long time. And even though things aren't always perfect, the love that they have for each other always comes through in the end. I took notice in the quote, "Maybe sometimes we take each other for granted." I think at one point everyone takes another for granted. Especially in relationships. I admire how the author admitted it, but then overcame it with love. When reading this, it reminded me of how we never really know what we have until it’s gone. Whether it’s someone in a relationship or not. When we really love something, take it for granted, and end up losing it, all we want is to get it back and make it a part of us again. Which is why I found it beautiful that the author admitted to taking a step back and realizing how lovely his wife is, how she is a piece of him, and even after all this time, still finds her to be the main object of his desire.

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  38. I think love is a beautiful thing. Human connection is an unbelievable and it has no explanation; the feeling is indescribable. I’ve always been an old fashion romantic. The kind you see in movies where a gentleman tries to impress the lady they are attracted too and will do anything to keep them happy and vice versa. I’ve always pictured meeting the love of my life in a coffee shop, park, or at a book store and such. I blame movies for it.
    While reading the letters/poems, it made me really appreciate the people that have came into my life and I can’t wait to meet the person who will be my best friend and life long partner.

    Personally it is really hard for me to choose from one of the poems. Lets just say I loved them all. Although if it came down to it, the two poems that I really enjoyed where, Sonnet 116 and Love One Another. In Sonnet 116, I really enjoyed the ending when it says “if this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved”. I think that this poem captures the endurance of love and that when things are going rough it should not affect their love for one another ; it should just be a bump in the road. Love shouldn’t be measured in time; it should just last forever.
    The poem Love One Another gave me some chills (not in a bad way). I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this poem. I love it because it explains that although you are in love with someone you still need to give each other space once in a while. It mentions that you can’t take one another for granted. Love should flow like the waves in the ocean and everything can fall into place. Be kind, patient, a supporter, and most importantly don’t stand in each others way for success.
    It was really hard for me to choose my favorite love letter. It came down to Johny Cash to June Carter Cash and Juliette Droute to Victor Hugo. I ended up choosing Juliette Droute’s letter.
    I chose this letter because it says “ I love you because I love you”, there shouldn’t be an explanation on why you love someone you just simply do. I enjoyed how it didn’t explain why, it just explained that she didn’t question the love she has for him. It didn’t matter if he believed it or not, she knew how she felt and the only way to explain her love to him was by showing how much she loved him.

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  40. This is hands down my favorite blog. I absolutely love poetry. I love the connection I have with the author as I read a poem. Out of all these poems, the one that I deeply connected to was Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. I have read many of his works and they were always so eerie and in a few cases sad, but this one was different. Yes, it was sad, but it was also very loving. I feel like this is one of the greatest love poems of all time because it incorporates love and heart break. In my opinion those are the two most appealing concepts to humans because those are the most relatable topics. I know as a teenage girl, we are drawn to storylines that have a melancholy feel, and that is exactly what this poem exudes. I also believe that the wording in the poem had a big effect on it being recognized as one of the greatest love poems of all time. The way that the poem is worded, and the words used make the poem so beautiful.
    What I got from the poem is that there is a girl named Annabel Lee who the narrator is head over heels in love with. They met as kids and they fell in love, but their love seemed to be forbidden. Annabel dies, and he feels as if his love is taken from him. Finally, when he is at the end of his life, he feels at peace because he knows he will be reunited with his love, Annabel. I thought this was so beautifully written, and I absolutely adore Edgar Allan Poe.

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  41. I feel like love poems/letters are easiest writing style to relate to. Everyone has experienced love or is it experiencing it. It makes love poems/letters extremely powerful to the reader.

    My favorite letter was Napoleons letter to Josephine. I just really enjoyed a historic icon showing his love and compassion. Furthermore, I felt his letter really displayed how true love can be felt no matter how many miles separates the couple! He seems really sincere and I can tell there wasn't a day that went by where he did not think about her.

    My favorite poem was Annabel Lee. I think the poem was written perfectly. The repetition of her name makes it so the reader will never forget Annabel Lee such as the writer will never forget Annabel Lee. Also, it shows how love is more than a title and it is felt no matter how many obstacles are in the way.

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  42. I felt that I liked the letters more than the poems as they felt more directly set apart for their reader as a more intimate feeling of love rather than for a large audience of readers. My favorites were by Johnney Cash "Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 earthly reason for my existence", Jimi Hendrix "little girl…Happiness is within you…. So unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow like the sweet flower you are…I know the answer — Just spread your wings and set yourself FREE", Nathaniel Hawthorne How did I love before I knew you — before I possessed your affection! I reckon upon your love as something that is to endure when everything that can perish has perished —" and Richard Burton " You don't realize it of course, E.B., how fantastically beautiful you've always been, and how strangely you've acquired an added and special dangerous loveliness". I love how these people wrote what they wanted to say. Not to plainly, but you can tell it was from the deepest part of their hearts and they weren't caught up in flowery words in trying to get there. I especially love how Jimi Hendrix seems to put his lovers well being before his own. He wants her to be happy and is willing to help her get there. A lot of the other writers seem to be selfish, they explain what their love is to them and what it can do for them, but I think true love is about putting someone before yourself.
    I think my favorite poem would have to be Annabel Lee by Edger Allen Poe. If you know anything about Edgar Allen Poe you know that his life was both plagued by death and mystery. These parts of his life often showed throughout his work. It may seem childish but I love how it rhymes throughout each stanza. This lyrical masterpiece follows the life and death of one such Annabel Lee. What a beautiful name to match beautifully written lines such as "She was a child and I was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, But we loved with a love that was more than love-- I and my Annabel Lee--". A love that cannot be tainted by one's own hand combined with the tragic loss is part of what makes this poem beautiful. But another stand out factor is relatable lines. A story that has no certain specifics but general implications of events that we can all shape to match our own love stories.

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  43. Love is such a powerful word and it affects us drastically whether we choose to accept it or not, its everlasting, it’s what makes life divine. It’s either you always have loved and always will or never did. Personally I enjoyed reading the love letters not just because I had that adorning moment of “aww” but because, it gave me hope that one day someone will love me the way the these people are loved. In a way that they made people feel complete and all their needs and desires were within the blink of an eye. The letter I enjoyed the most was Frederick Wentworth’s to Anne Elliot. “ Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever...I have loved none but you.” His letter embodies the idea that when you love someone, you never really stop. Another letter I enjoyed was Jimi Hendix’s to an unknown woman. It expresses the idea that love and happiness are two different things. Although a person can make your heart skip a beat, get anxious, and leave you at a loss for words when indulging in all their beauty and existence, they will only ever add to the happiness within yourself. In order to fully love another individual, you have to love yourself. Once you love yourself, you can share that love and share kindness and passion with everyone you encounter. My favorite poem to read was My River runs to thee by Emily Dickinson. She is begging and seems almost desperate to encounter perhaps her lover or a greater love. I felt very relatable to this poem as I myself find myself in a state of mind where all I want is a lover to come into my life. This poem made me realize that I am surrounded with love by so many individuals I shouldn’t worry too much on finding love but, embracing the love that already fulfills my heart from family, friends, influences, and so much more. Love is one of the many great things in our beautiful lives and we need to appreciate it for as long as we can.

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  44. Love and I have a bad history. Not just in relationships, but in family too. Sometimes, you come to find out that love isn't in everyone's hearts.

    Writing expresses love in the deepest form. Whether it be through a movie, book, play, poetry, etc., it portrays someone's deep emotions and feelings towards someone else and it pulls you in. Although my experience has not been well, I'm still in love with romance. People tend to discourage teenagers for being in love. They say that sort of thing isn't possible at such a young age. Well, I think they're wrong. We're all human and we all have needs that we want to fulfill. If you're in love at 16, then be! It may not work out, but that's not because of the age. It's because sometimes, things just happen. People at the age of 40 are in love and get divorced. It's no different. I believe in love and I believe someone can be in love no matter the age.

    On that note, let's talk about the man in black. Johnny Cash and June Carter will forever be my favorite love story. I've loved him since I was a kid and I remember getting the movie and album for my birthday and I cannot begin to describe how excited I was! Anyway, it's my favorite love story because it's so real. At the beginning, it was love love love. Then, they hit a rough patch and weren't together for a while. But in the end, they still ended up with each other. His letter to her honestly just made my heart happy. He tells her that even though they're with each other every single day and think the same thoughts now, he doesn't get tired of her. He's still fascinated by her. He's lucky to have her. But most importantly, he's still in love with her.

    This is the kind of love I want one day. i don't want multiple lovers in my life. I want that one that I just know I'll be with forever. You can love many people. But you can only be in love with one person.

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  45. I really enjoy reading anything that has to do with love because I am a hopeless romantic so this blog post was very exciting for me. I'm very into the cheesy stuff and love is something I think about often. I really enjoyed reading all the poems, but the love letters were definitely my favorite. I enjoy looking at how others express their love. It's such an intense emotion and everyone feels it in such vastly different ways. I will always love Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. It's such a beautiful poem and you can really feel the intensity of the love that Poe is feeling. Aside from Annabel Lee, I also really enjoyed Napoleon Bonaparte's letter to Josephine du Beauharnais. Even though Napoleon and his love are separated it only makes their love stronger and that's something that I really love. I know, firsthand, that it is a very difficult thing to be away from someone that you love, but it only makes reuniting with them that much sweeter. I think that that's what makes Napoleon's letter one of the greatest. It shows that true love is patient and can withstand long distances.

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  46. My favorite love poems from this selection are “Love One Another,” “Annabelle Lee,” and “Sonnet 116.” Out of all the letters I looked at, the letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Sophia Peabody, Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved,” and Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine du Beauharnais. The reason why I love these poems and letters so much is because of the extremely descriptive nature of the poems and letters. The use of nature, a natural phenomenon, to describe love, an equally natural phenomenon. The letters of course differed in the appealing elements of them as they are prose and not poetry. The authors of these letters expressed a deep longing desire for their other half and expressed it using what we as people feel are the lowest one can feel and go to in desperation. Above all, all of my favorite poems and letters had eloquent words and phrasing which furthered the point of the writer.

    Beethoven's letter to his “Immortal Beloved” is the third letter he wrote to his beloved out of a series of three. It is believed that Antonie Brentano was the recipient of these letters. She was a mother of four children and unhappily married to a merchant. It is believed that Beethoven wrote these letters to her since her family moved to Vienna for some time. During this time Antonie was sick most of the time and Beethoven played the piano for her during this time. The letters were also written around the time Antonie was going to leave Vienna making it more likely that these letters were to her ("Ludwig Van Beethoven - Letters to the Immortal Beloved").

    Beethoven in this letter uses language that is considered supernatural such as: spirit, fate, and soul. These words are often associated with love and are also often associated with the idea of forever. Beethoven makes it clear that he would love to be with his beloved forever when he writes, “send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits.” The “land of spirits” is considered to be the place where people’s souls go when they die, by Beethoven referring to this, he is saying he would like his soul to stay with her forever, from this life into the next. Beethoven states several times within in the letter that he wants to be with his beloved, but considering the likelihood of who his beloved is, his feelings are unsure of his love. He even says, “learning whether or not fate will hear us,” “At my age I need a quiet, steady life- can that be so in our connection?” and “why must one be parted from one whom he loves?” These quotes expose an external struggle with the society he lives in. If he runs away with his beloved, he will not receive the quiet life he wishes he could have. Fate also disagrees with their current situation as well as he can not be with his beloved due to her having a husband. All of this underlying struggle and separation between him and his beloved create a sad and longing tone within the letter. The most surprising part of the letter is the length of it. Within the short letter, there is a lot of risk involved which is probably why Beethoven’s letter is so famous, the amazingly famous Beethoven almost threw everything away for a married woman who he sincerely loved and dedicated his heart and soul to in this letter. The willingness of him to be with her despite what may happen is what we all dream of which is why it is such a great love letter.

    "Ludwig Van Beethoven - Letters to the Immortal Beloved." Ludwig Van Beethoven - Letters to the Immortal Beloved. 2003. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

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  47. I've never really considered myself an outwardly romantic person. It's not that I don't like the idea of one's physical expression of love, I just think that my idea of what is romantic may be a little skewed in comparison to others and I tend to refrain from discussing my own personal feelings about love. However, that being said, The poem written by Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo was the only poem that really struck a chord with me. It's difficult to explain why her words resonated so well in my heart but I will try my best to explain what I felt while I read her poem.

    As someone who spends her time over-calculating matters regarding the heart, I found her words to be very important. (especially the line: "I love you without question, without calculation and without reason good or bad, faithfully, with all of my heart and soul, and every faculty.") To me, her poem was the embodiment of undying devotion towards her lover. Her words were simple, concise and to the point. She was confident and bold and I think that is the most beautiful way to speak to someone whom you love. With intention and clarity.

    Not to say that I enjoyed any of the other love poems less! I just prefer a more constructed and simplistic manner of poetry. To someone like me, It's easier to swallow a serious love confession when it's written out in such a way and I think this is the reason Juliette Drouet's poem was so important to me.

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  48. My favorite poem was Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. It was beautifully written and, honestly, was easy to follow. I think the main reason why this poem was my favorite is because it is the perfect love. Everyone wants some one to grow up and grow old together and someone that will love them so much that they lay next to there grave still completely in love with them. This actually reminds me of The Notebook in the sense that they were young when they met and then he lost her along the way and in the end they die together with in love with each other. It is such a beautiful story and the poem Edgar wrote captured love to its fullest.

    As far as what would make this poem one of the greatest, is I believe the timeless effect it has. It still rings true today; it hasn't lost its relevance. The story line in the poem is very much relatable the audience back then and now as well. I think that the relevance stays true because of the fact that Edgar is talking about a kind of love that most people are familiar too and an emotion that has not really changed over time. Love is still love. This type of love story is still being produced in our writing and media.

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  49. Well this is not what I was expecting to see when I got on your blog to respond, I am a very private person when it comes to "love" or anything that has to do with it. As I read through the many poems one specifically grabbed my attention, Gerald Ford's letter to Betty Ford, his mom, even though it was to his mom the amount of love that he had for her is appereant.

    "No written words can adequately express our deep, deep love. We know how great you are and we, the children and Dad, will try to be as strong as you.
    Our faith in you and God will sustain us. Our total love for you is everlasting.
    We will be at your side with our love for a wonderful Mom."

    His love was intertwined with his faith in God, and that alone speaks volumes. He literally says that his love/faith in her, is the same that he expresses to God. I hope that one day I can express this amount of love to my Mom but also to my future wife. That although I might not have a fancy poem that sounds pleasing, they will know of a surety that my love for them is as strong as my faith in God.

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  50. Out of all these poems I would have to pick two that are my favorite, The first is Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe, because firstly I have always loved reading Poe's works and second I feel as if this poem can put out more than it's letting on. My second favorite would have to be Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. That poem stood out to me for an unknown reason and I think learning more about the past behind it would be interesting.

    Out of all the poems from the links I think choosing Annabel Lee from Poe seemed to shout out the most to me with Poe's descriptions of the emotions he feels and the memories he shares with Annabel. Even when she passed away from sickness Poe describes his love is stronger than ever and the heavens above and the demons below could not sever it.

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  51. I dont really get all crazy about love poems. I was having a hard time finding a poem that I liked and then I saw one that Edgar Allen Poe had written. So since I like him, I decided to go with his poem Annabelle Lee. The beginning was like oh this is kind of sweet and then he lost me towards the middle. I feel like I dont like love poems because they are filled with metaphors and similes. I kind of just like straight forward, I dont like having to dig deep for a deeper meaning. What I got out of the poem is how he loves someone and when she dies he lays next to her grave. I sometimes like quotes about love but I just dont really enjoy love poems and such as much as others and to be honest I dont really know why. I dont really relate to any of these as well which is probably another reason I dont care for them.

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  52. Outside of school I would probably never venture out to read love poems or letters. That is just the way I am. I can appreciate though a sweet well thought message such as some of these. I do not on the other hand like the very complex or flowery poems and letters that romantics probably love. The message itself to me is more important. Simplicity over complexity. That is why I chose Napoleon Bonaparte’s letter because it conveyed a simple message of longing for Josephine. I especially like the ending sentence feeling it to be powerfully convey how he actually felt, “I thought that I loved you months ago, but since my separation from you I feel that I love you a thousand fold more. Each day since I knew you, have I adored you more and more.”

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  53. I'm not one who is really all that interested in love poems but I do think they are sweet. They just don't invoke feelings in me as much as they probably do others. However, if I had to pick a favorite "love poem", it would be one that isn't mentioned on the list of the page. My favorite "love poem" would be Sonnet 18 by Shakespeare. I say "love poem" because there is a lot of controversy surrounding that poem in that it actually could be a eulogy. There is a very well argued analysis on the subject.

    The poem I chose to read was Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. I like a lot of his work and I remember reading this poem a while back. This poem has a sort of sad tone, as expected from Edgar Allan Poe, because he talks of this one really special girl and how they loved each other very much. It isn't long before he reveals that she has died and talks about how their love is much stronger and everlasting to ever die. I think that is why this poem is loved so much, because people love the idea of an everlasting love. I feel someone who has gone through a similar experience can relate to this poem and find a sort of escape in this poem. It is brilliant because it uses a mixture of sadness and love to invoke strong feelings in the reader.

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  54. I am a huge romantic, so of course I love sonnet 116 by Shakespeare so much! The letter from Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine makes me feel a sad-lovey-nostalgic way. It's bitter sweet.
    My favorite letter is the one from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor(I love her so much.)
    "My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you. You don't realize of course, E.B., how fascinatingly beautiful you have always been, and how strangely you have acquired an added and special and dangerous loveliness."

    The way he describes Elizabeth is the way that all girls want to be described as by someone they love. The way he says his eyes are waiting for the sight of her, it's just so sweet. Yes, it's a short letter. Yes, it's simple and not at all complex. But the meaning and the love behind the letter matters a lot.

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  55. I really enjoy love poems and when I saw Edgar Allen Poe I knew it'd be really interesting. It was of course a little dark but I liked it. It was that tragic love story we all enjoy for some unknown reason.

    My favorite love letter was from Johnny Cash to June. "You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 earthly reason for my existence.". Those lines cut into my heart. You can tell he is completely in love with June and the way he described it is so incredibly beautiful.

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  56. Okay so to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of love letters and mushy poems. But I do still see the beauty in them. Even one of the darkest poets of all time, Edger Allen Poe had a sweet romantic side. But with each person who writes, their true 'colors' still come out. With the piece by Edger Allen Poe, you could still get the dark tone of his writing that we have grown to love. But then you have "My River" by Emily Dickinson, ( one of my favorite authors ) where we see this side that is so passionate and so love that it melts everyones heart. But it seems that we all have our own interpretation of love, and we learn to grow and appreciate everyones version of it.

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  57. I am not a huge fan of love letters or love poems, written by others.
    I am an honest, straight forward person, so while I may use some metaphors, they are easy to understand, and lack the floweriness, that I dislike so much.

    None of the poems caught my attention, really. I dislike poems that rhyme. I don't see realistic attributes in most of them. I understand that could just be me.

    However, Johnny Cash's love letter was simple. The kind that you want to receive, when you love simply. It was realistic, and plain, and that makes it way more meaningful to me.

    I wish not for someone to shower me in difficult language to try and impress me with their so-called love.
    Instead, I wish for the times, when you're sitting at a dinner table, and the one across from you, blurts out truths about themselves, because they couldn't ever imagine, NOT telling you.

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  58. I am not a huge fan of love letters or love poems, written by others.
    I am an honest, straight forward person, so while I may use some metaphors, they are easy to understand, and lack the floweriness, that I dislike so much.

    None of the poems caught my attention, really. I dislike poems that rhyme. I don't see realistic attributes in most of them. I understand that could just be me.

    However, Johnny Cash's love letter was simple. The kind that you want to receive, when you love simply. It was realistic, and plain, and that makes it way more meaningful to me.

    I wish not for someone to shower me in difficult language to try and impress me with their so-called love.
    Instead, I wish for the times, when you're sitting at a dinner table, and the one across from you, blurts out truths about themselves, because they couldn't ever imagine, NOT telling you.

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