In honor of Valentine’s Day, Onewed.com gives you 14 great love poems. Some are perfect for a wedding reading, some are just to remind you of why you’re getting married in the first place.
1. “Drunk as Drunk” by Pablo Neruda
If you’re looking for romance, it’s hard to go wrong with Neruda. Try “Drunk as Drunk,” but be careful — if you aren’t home with your honey, you may wish you were.
2. “Marriage Morning” by Tennyson
Really, kind of obvious
3. “Litany” by Billy Collins
Former poet laureate Billy Collins is not your traditional romantic poet, but this will definitely give you a laugh.
4. “Separation” by W.S. Merwin
If you’re in a long distance engagement or you and your fiancé are going to be living separately for a while, this may be the one for you.
5. “Love is Reckless” by Rumi
Rumi is an ancient Persian poet. Some of his poetry is quite spiritual in nature. Translations of his work differ, so if you find one you like, make sure to copy it down.
6. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet
OK, you probably read this in high school, but read it again. As a bonus, Anne Bradstreet was the first female writer to be published in America, so this Valentine’s Day, let’s think about all the women before us who managed to find love and keep their creative spirit.
7. “Song of Solomon”
“Song of Solomon,” also known as the Song of Songs is one of the shortest, and sexiest books in the Bible. There are many, many translations available — we didn’t link to one here so that you can pick one that works best with your religious tradition.
8. “Sheva Brechot,” number 6
If you’re having a traditional Jewish wedding, the 7 blessings are already included, but even if you aren’t Jewish, consider checking out the 6th blessing. It’s all about joy.
9. “You, You Only Exist” by Rainer Maria Rilke
For a lot of people German isn’t exactly the language of love, but it’s hard to go wrong with Rilke.
10. “Brown Penny” by W.B. Yeats
Many of Yeats’ poems are best left for private readings (check out “Leda and the Swan” sometime for a whole new appreciation of Greek mythology) but this is pure sweetness and suitable for a family occasion.
11. “From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee
Full disclosure: I had this read at my wedding. It sums up how I felt about being newly in love.
12. “Among all Lovely Things My Love Had Been” by William Wordsworth
Anyone who has ever introduced their loved one to something new will be able to relate.
13. “A Ditty” by Sir Philip Sidney
You probably didn’t read much Sidney in school. That’s because he lived at the same time as another poet… Shakespeare. It’s tough to compete!
14. “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare
Love is not love which alters… Come on, you knew it would be on here somewhere.
A thought about readings: One of the easiest ways to make the wedding ceremony your own is to choose your own readings. Many people like Biblical readings or love poems, but there’s no reason to restrict yourself to the usual. Books about nature can be a great source of readings. So can fiction, or just about anything that speaks to you.