It's one of the oldest holidays in the world — starting all the way back with the famously passionate Romans in 496 AD, when the Pope set aside February 14th for St. Valentine and the early spring festivals began! Valentine's Day ushers in a brief hallmark period of cliches that are recognizable and widely endeared. These motifs of affection can become somewhat disenchanting as we age away from simple love notes and chocolates, and some would look at the love poem in the same way. We're here to bring back the magic of the love poem and help you write a poem to give to someone this V-Day that stands out from almost two thousand years of romantic rhymes!
- Put your heart into it. Though we love the classics like Shakespeare's sonnets, the first step to creating an awesome, modern-day love poem is putting your personality into whatever you write. Be yourself and let sincerity take the wheel when you express your feelings. There's no reason to worry about sounding like other poets because nobody in this world has a story exactly like your own. That's what makes poetry so relatable yet personal. If you're funny, be humorous. If this is a grand gesture of love, take your heart off your sleeve and bring it onto the page. Or turn up the heat by writing a Valentine's rap! Think about who you're writing the poem for and keep in mind your relationship to them to get started.
- Poems for All. Valentine's Day poems aren't exclusively reserved for bae — there's plenty of platonic poetic love to spread! In thinking about your relationships with others you can write a Valentine's Day poem to your family, friends, and even your roommates, mentioning inside jokes and expressing your adoration for them. Use this holiday as a time to appreciate those around you. Write a poem for your parents or leave loving haikus around work and school. And don't forget to share your poem with the Power Poetry community, too.
- Presentation is Everything. Like a fancy dessert, how your poem looks can offer that extra oompf when you give it to someone. And in the age of technology we can get a lot more festive with the ways in which we gift people our poems. Technology gives us the opportunity to connect with each other in far more efficient ways than Shakespeare's balcony-to-garden method. It could be as simple as reciting your poem on Facetime to a long-distance loved one, or as grand as recording an entire video project equipped with stunts and a musical number. The age-old method of passing a note can be done with much more finesse as we explore virtual postcards, DIY drawing apps, and amorous voice memos. All of these cyber methods are effective and cool but if you want to give your beloved something classy they can keep, write your poem in the first page of a new journal as an inspiring gift.
- Embrace (some of) the Cliches. There is a reason (besides making extra money for greeting card companies) that the common motifs of Valentine's Day have stuck it out for a few thousand years. Though you might find the expectations of the holiday to be too intense, it's a great opportunity to remember to use this time to spread positive energy! When writing your poem, don't intentionally inhibit yourself from conveying thoughts with the fear that they sound cheesy or repetitive. There is something about the familiarity of these cliches that can be satisfying. This doesn't mean you have to start citing Cupid in your poetry, but it would surely make for an interesting V-Day poem!