Much has been written about love, and while poetry may not be everyone’s cup of tea, romantic minds have always admired the powerful beauty of romantic poetry.
So immerse yourself in the beauty of words or even surprise a loved one with your literary knowledge. Love and beauty are timeless, after all.
England’s favourite literary son is the undisputed king of romantic poetry. Some may resent him, having been taught his works in school, but once you delve into the richness of his poems and sonnets, you’ll discover timeless wisdom and beauty. Shall I compare thee is possibly the most famous love poem of all times.
A key figure in romanticism, the author of such great love poems as I watched thee and She walks in beauty was as flamboyant and as wild as can be. Famously described as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”, he nonetheless gave us some of the most tender love poems in history.
The great Sufi mystic from ancient Persia had much to say about love and his words are as relevant today as they were when they were written. His writing is simple, spiritual and poignant and his observations are remarkably accurate.
Poet and artist, Blake was only really appreciated after his death. He was considered crazy by his contemporaries, possibly because of his then unusual views of love and marriage. He advocated pure love that was not bound by restrictive rules and limitations and this was reflected in his poetry. Many scholars consider him to have been part of the “free love” movement.
The Nobel laureate Chilean poet is best known for his erotically charged love poems. Published when he was only 19, Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, was hugely successful and caused quite a stir. Since then it’s sold million of copies and has been translated into practically every language under the sun.
One of the great romantic poets, he founded the romantic age in British poetry together with Coleridge and produced many great poems about love. His own love life was certainly turbulent enough: an estranged French wife who bore him a daughter, followed by marrying a childhood friend.
7.Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Most famous for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, Coleridge nonetheless gave us the fanciful and beautiful Love.
The Lebanese-American poet is best known for his work The Prophet, which included much writing about love, both physical and spiritual. His writing draws on the mystical traditions of Islam and Christianity and is rich yet accessible and deeply moving.
This French master drew on the works of early 19th century French romantic poets, but favoured more urban settings, decadent pleasures and a healthy dose of irony. His love poems were certainly urbane and sometimes even ironic, as exemplified in his poem To a Madonna, that should appeal to love cynics as well as hopeless romantics.
In spite of her reclusive lifestyle or perhaps because of it, Emily Dickinson’s romantic writing is full of passion and longing. Considered eccentric in her Massachusetts town for always wearing white and refusing to receive guests, she wrote many volumes of poetry, most of which were published after her death. Poems like If you were coming in the fall show her rich inner world that stood in sharp contrast to her lonely life.