Advice for Poets 6: Let’s Talk About Love

Amore, Dragoste, L’amour, Upendo, Love!*

The love poem is a personal endeavour that we really can’t advise you on all that strongly because it’s got to come out of what you feel or imagine. However, we can give you a couple of things to think about and pitfalls to be aware of. Who knows, if you write yourself a masterpiece, maybe you could send it to your loved one or submit it to our charity anthology! 

love

Confidence

Don’t be afraid to spew out everything you feel – if you get shy at your own thoughts, then your poem is never going to work. Remember, if you’re not happy with it, then nobody else need ever see it, so you can be as honest as you like.

Mind Your Metaphors

Think carefully about your metaphors. If you’re getting a bit saucy, then describing various ‘bits’ as bouncy space hoppers isn’t exactly erotic, it’s sort of hilarious. Think carefully about the connotations of your metaphors to make sure they’re appropriate. A good tip is to read your metaphors out loud (maybe not if you tend to write during your morning commute) because that will help you fully and clearly understand your own words.

Sonnets

Probably the most romantic poetic form. The associations alone heighten the romance of the whole thing. However, this means you need to think about a rhyme scheme…

Rhymes

Especially if you’re planning on sharing your poem, don’t let the restrictions of rhyme make you choose poor wording that may not be appropriate. Which leads us to:

Dictionary Corner

For the love of God, use a dictionary if you’re using a pretty sounding word you’ve heard that rhymes with your lovers name so you figure, ‘it’ll do.’  Don’t share anything unless you know what every part of it means in case you end up being super insulting.

Cliché

These aren’t really something you necessarily NEED to avoid. However, you need to be aware you’re using them, because they’re not exactly original. Roses, milky skin, blood red blushes, petals, etc. have all been used a whole bunch of times before, but at the end of the day, traditional romantic language is very effective and important. It’s up to you to make a judgement, but you have to be aware of what you’re doing.

We’re looking for creative work of any kind for our charity project, so if you’re being inspired by affairs of the heart then consider sending us your work – what’s more romantic than getting his/her name in print??

 *In case you were wondering: Amore = Spanish, Dragoste = Romanian, L’amour = French , Upendo = Swahili
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