A Compilation of short poems about love to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day…


To start getting you in the mood for Valentine’s Day, or to give you a few ideas for poems to put into the card you’re writing for your special someone, or just as a reminder of the cheese that is out there in our weird and wonderful world, here are a few short poems about love put together from the CUB Team for you lovely CUB readers. A kind of early Valentine’s gift….

Song for the Last Act by Louise Bogan

Now that I have your face by heart, I look

Less at its features than its darkening frame

Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,

Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook.

Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease

The lead and marble figures watch the show

Of yet another summer loath to go

Although the scythes hang in the apple trees.

Now that I have your face by heart, I look.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read

In the black chords upon a dulling page

Music that is not meant for music’s cage,

Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.

The staves are shuttled over with a stark

Unprinted silence. In a double dream

I must spell out the storm, the running stream.

The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark.

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see

The wharves with their great ships and architraves;

The rigging and the cargo and the slaves

On a strange beach under a broken sky.

O not departure, but a voyage done!

The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps

Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps

Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun.

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.



Love Song by Mary Carolyn Davies

There is a strong wall about me to protect me:

It is built of the words you have said to me.

There are swords about me to keep me safe:

They are the kisses of your lips.

Before me goes a shield to guard me from harm:

It is the shadow of your arms between me and danger.

All the wishes of my mind know your name,

And the white desires of my heart

They are acquainted with you.

The cry of my body for completeness,

That is a cry to you.

My blood beats out your name to me,

    unceasing, pitiless

Your name, your name.



One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda, translated by Mark Eisner

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,

or arrow of carnations that progagate fire:

I love you as one loves certain obscure things,

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries

the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,

and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose

from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.


Colors passing through us by Marge Piercy

 Purple as tulips in May, mauve

into lush velvet, purple

as the stain blackberries leave

on the lips, on the hands,

the purple of ripe grapes

sunlit and warm as flesh.

Every day I will give you a color,

like a new flower in a bud vase

on your desk. Every day

I will paint you, as women

color each other with henna

on hands and on feet.

Red as henna, as cinnamon,

as coals after the fire is banked,

the cardinal in the feeder,

the roses tumbling on the arbor

their weight bending the wood

the red of the syrup I make from petals.

Orange as the perfumed fruit

hanging their globes on the glossy tree,

orange as pumpkins in the field,

orange as butterfly weed and the monarchs

who come to eat it, orange as my

cat running lithe through the high grass.

Yellow as a goat’s wise and wicked eyes,

yellow as a hill of daffodils,

yellow as dandelions by the highway,

yellow as butter and egg yolks,

yellow as a school bus stopping you,

yellow as a slicker in a downpour.

Here is my bouquet, here is a sing

song of all the things you make

me think of, here is oblique

praise for the height and depth

of you and the width too.

Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.

Green as mint jelly, green

as a frog on a lily pad twanging,

the green of cos lettuce upright

about to bolt into opulent towers,

green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear

glass, green as wine bottles.

Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums,

bachelors’ buttons. Blue as Roquefort,

blue as Sage. Blue as still water.

Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.

Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring

azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.

Cobalt as the midnight sky

when day has gone without a trace

and we lie in each other’s arms

eyes shut and fingers open

and all the colors of the world

pass through our bodies like strings of fire.


Love is more thicker than forget by E. E. Cummings

love is more thicker than forget

more thinner than recall

more seldom than a wave is wet

more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly

and less it shall unbe

than all the sea which only

is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win

less never than alive

less bigger than the least begin

less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly

and more it cannot die

than all the sky which only

is higher than the sky


Everything Good between Men and Women by C. D. Wright

 has been written in mud and butter

and barbecue sauce. The walls and

the floors used to be gorgeous.

The socks off-white and a near match.

The quince with fire blight

but we get two pints of jelly

in the end. Long walks strengthen

the back. You with a fever blister

and myself with a sty. Eyes

have we and we are forever prey

to each other’s teeth. The torrents

go over us. Thunder has not harmed

anyone we know. The river coursing

through us is dirty and deep. The left

hand protects the rhythm. Watch

your head. No fires should be

unattended. Especially when wind. Each

receives a free swiss army knife.

The first few tongues are clearly

preparatory. The impression

made by yours I carry to my grave. It is

just so sad so creepy so beautiful.

Bless it. We have so little time

to learn, so much… The river

courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.

Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.

 If I Thought by Dana Schwartz

 If I thought for just one moment that this would be my last breath,
I’d tell you I’ll love you forever, even beyond death.
If I thought for just one moment that your face would be the last I’d see,
I’d take a million pictures and save them just for me.
If I thought for just one moment that your voice would be the last I’d hear,
I’d listen attentively and promise not to shed a tear.
If I thought for just one moment that your touch would be the last I’d feel,
I’d embrace you and know that this has all been real.
If I thought for just one moment that my heart would beat its last beat,
I’d thank the Lord for allowing us to meet.

Love Song by Henry Dumas


I have to adore the earth:

The wind must have heard

your voice once.

It echoes and sings like you.

The soil must have tasted

you once.

It is laden with your scent.

The trees honor you

in gold

and blush when you pass.

I know why the north country

is frozen.

It has been trying to preserve

your memory.

I know why the desert

burns with fever.

It was wept too long without you.

On hands and knees,

the ocean begs up the beach,

and falls at your feet.

I have to adore

the mirror of the earth.

You have taught her well

how to be beautiful.


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