poem index

Love Poems

Whether you're searching for words to express a classic courtship or modern relationship, a passionate love or a lovely friendship, or a love that's painful and complex, we've curated a selection of popular love poems for you to choose from, from the classic to the contemporary and everything in between. What better way to express one’s feelings of love and passion than through reading and sharing a poem? 

Contemporary Love Poems

My Heart
That Mississippi chicken shack...
by Kim Addonizio

The best part…
by Rae Armantrout

In Our Late Empire, Love
drops from upper air...
by Malachi Black

In the dark we crush
Crab apples for the sound of it...
by Julia Cohen

Heart to Heart
It’s neither red …
by Rita Dove

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

All I Ever Wanted
When I thought it was right to name my desires …
by Katie Ford

The Wall Hanging I Never Noticed
I never noticed before how the red flowers...
by Dorothea Lasky

Somewhere someone rises …
by Joseph O. Legaspi

The eye chews the apple …
by Ruth Madievsky

Exactly four different men have tried…
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

How to Love
After stepping into the world again...
by January Gill O'Neil

Divine Overdose
We are even more modern …
by Matthew Rohrer

Galaxy Love
There’s too little time left to measure …
by Gerald Stern

Love's Body
Love gives all its reasons...
by Jonathan Wells

Love Poem
My mother wouldn’t stand up …
by Susan Wheeler

Blue Vase
Because you like to sleep at dawn with curtains drawn…
by Cynthia Zarin

Things Said To Be Ineffable
A book decorates
by Mark Yakich

Poem to First Love
To have been told “I love you” …
by Matthew Yeager

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browse classic and contemporary wedding poems

Love Poems for Her

To Dorothy
You are not beautiful, exactly...
by Marvin Bell

I am yours as the summer air at evening is...
by Daniel Hoffman

The truth is that I fall in love …
by Patrick Phillips

Twenty-One Love Poems [Poem II]
I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming …
by Adrienne Rich

Love's Philosophy
The fountains mingle with the river...
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

poem I wrote sitting across the table from you
if I had two nickels to rub together...
by Kevin Varrone

Poem to First Love
To have been told “I love you” …
by Matthew Yeager

You, rare as Georgia …
by Kevin Young

Love Poems for Him

To My Dear and Loving Husband
If ever two were one, then surely we...
by Anne Bradstreet

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Paul's Tattoo
The flesh dreams toward permanence...
by Mark Doty

I love you …
by Nikki Giovanni

After the First Child, the Second
To you …
by Mary Austin Speaker

You Make Love Like the Last Snow Leopard
You make love like the last...
by Paige Taggart

Classic Love Poems

The Buried Life 
Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet...
by Matthew Arnold

Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute …
by Djuna Barnes

We cannot live, except thus mutually...
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Meeting at Night 
The gray sea and the long black land...
by Robert Browning

She Walks in Beauty 
She walks in beauty, like the night...
by George Gordon Byron

All thoughts, all passions, all delights...
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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

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

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

Song to Celia 
Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes...
by Ben Jonson

Ode to Psyche
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung …
by John Keats

The rising moon has hid the stars …
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A Gift
See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
by Amy Lowell

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

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Come live with me and be my love...
by Christopher Marlowe

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

To His Coy Mistress 
Had we but world enough, and time...
by Andrew Marvell

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

Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember] 
I wish I could remember that first day...
by Christina Rossetti

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

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130) 
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...
by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet 18)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...
by William Shakespeare

The Look 
Strephon kissed me in the spring...
by Sara Teasdale

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Erotic Love Poems

They decide to exchange heads...
by Denise Duhamel

Rime Riche
You need me like ice needs the mountain...
by Monica Ferrell

A Greek Island
Traveling over your body I found...
by Edward Hirsch

Stridulation Sonnet
Tiger beetles, crickets, velvet ants, all…
by Jessica Jacobs

The Ecstasy
You are not me, and I am never you...
by Phillip Lopate

Love Poem
Speak earth and bless me with what is richest …
by Audre Lorde

Graceful son of Pan! Around your forehead crowned...
by Arthur Rimbaud

My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
Who are you long legged woman in my dreams...
by Michael Ryan

Hurricane Song
Lady, won’t you wait…
by Kevin Young

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Friendship Poems

I Love the Hour Just Before
a party. Every body at home getting ready...
by Todd Boss

After the Movie
My friend Michael and I are walking home arguing...
by Marie Howe

For N & K
Otis on vinyl...
by Gina Myers

How I Am
When I talk to my friends I pretend I am standing on the wings...
by Jason Shinder

You came in a dream, yesterday...
by Jean Valentine

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Poems about Heartbreak and Difficult Love

The Embrace
You weren't well or really ill yet either...
by Mark Doty

[I Failed Him and He Failed Me]
I failed him and he failed me...
by Katie Ford

Self-Portrait at 36 w/ David
Because looking at myself w/ out you beside me is unnatural...
by Ellen Hagan

Are You Going to Stay?
What was it I was going to say?...
by Thomas Meyer

Ode to Love
Place its toothpicked pit in water, watch the grist…
by Jennifer Militello

Beside You on Main Street
We were stepping out of a reading…
by Jillian Weise

Sometimes with One I Love
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage...
by Walt Whitman

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Essays on Love & Poetry

Poetic Pairings
Learn how to pair the perfect poem with sweets, drinks, and flora for your partner on Valentine's Day.
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Eros and the Lyric Imagination
by Marilyn Hacker
Eros is often the fuel of the lyric imagination, which chooses to use words, sentences, musical structures of language to re/member the beloved, to enter that inexhaustible source of—not uniquely “carnal”—knowledge which is another person’s body and mind.
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All My Poems Are Love Poems: When Two Poets Fall in Love
Love poetry is about as old as love itself, from Homer’s vision of Penelope’s steadfastness, to the biblical Song of Solomon, to Shakespeare’s sonnets for his “Dark Lady” (or, some speculate, Dark Lord), to Keats’s love songs for his own depression. Most poets, at one time or another, write their way into the hearts of their chosen partners, but sometimes something slightly more unusual happens: two poets fall in love with each other.
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Dear Dainty Delicious Darlings
To poets such as Lewis Carroll, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Charles Olson, Alexander Pope, Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, and W. B. Yeats, love letters were the means by which they could send “A hundred thousand kisses, darling!” (Joyce) or just “a hundred and eighty-two” (Carroll), whether they had been “prepared by drinking” (Pope) or written “wildly...not stopping to think” (Dunbar). Read letters to and from these poets and more.
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Books of Love Poetry

Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelley

Isn't It Romantic

Collected Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Collected Sonnets

For Love by Robert Creeley

For Love

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