Valentine’s Day is approaching so the Toronto International Festival of Authors wants to help you with your writer’s block. For those special people in your life for whom a convenience store card just won’t suffice, look no further than to these poetic lines below. From poets both modern and classic, here is some prose to quote in your love letters, or to inspire verses of your own.
For the Romantic
“Love me, honey, love me true?
Love me well ez I love you?”
―Paul Laurence Dunbar, A Negro Love Song
“Our hearts belong together. And without yours, mine will stop beating.”
―Morgan Parker, Hope
O minutehand, teach me
how to hold a man the way thirst
―Ocean Vuong, A Little Closer to the Edge
For Your Dear Friend
Then let our flames still light and shine,
And no false fear control,
As innocent as our design,
Immortal as our soul.
―Katherine Philips, To My Excellent Lucasua, on Our Friendship
For Your Parent
I made you cry, you made me smile
I just wanna say I love you for life
And that’s the reason why I’m here now
―Snoop Dogg, I Love My Momma
For Your Child
As I slipped out my bed, to your crib I crept
Touched your head gently, felt my heart melt
Cause I know I loved you more than life itself
―Will Smith, Just the Two of Us
For Man’s Best Friend
Yet, my pretty sportive friend,
Little is ‘t to such an end
That I praise thy rareness !
Other dogs may be thy peers
Haply in these drooping ears,
And this glossy fairness.
―Elizabeth Barrett Browning, To Flush, My Dog
For Your Barista
“May your hands be an extension of your heart and may you do the work of love with them.”
For the Transit Rider Experiencing a Delay
“Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”
―John Donne, Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
“To be, or not to be, that is the question”
―William Shakespeare, Hamlet