Five Poems: Love

1. It’s raining in love – Richard Brautigan
Oh, Richard Brautigan. This poem immediately makes me smile a smile of recognition because how much do I understand never being able to think of the right thing to say to a person I’m attracted to, overthinking things, trying to figure out what it all means? A lot. That’s how much. (And who doesn’t? Or hasn’t? And if you don’t or haven’t, what are you, a robot?) In the sense that I identify with this poem completely, know it entirely from my own experience, it is wonderful. (Text)

2. Breaking Up – Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Not all love poems are about the happy parts, and not all the love poems about the unhappy parts are morose. And just as things work and they’re wonderful and our hearts beat faster when we do simple things together, like taking the dog for a walk, sometimes things also stop working. And then the dog doesn’t know what the hell is going on. The thing I love about this poem is that it’s straightforward —

I fell out of love: that’s our story’s dull ending,
as flat as life is, as dull as the grave.
Excuse me–I’ll break off the string of this love song
and smash the guitar. We have nothing to save.

— sometimes that’s all there is. Except that’s never all there is. Poor dog. (Text)

3. The Rain – Robert Creeley
Love, if you love me…
I’m a big fan of Robert Creeley, and I love this poem especially because it feels like a rainy day indoors, looking out of the window, listening to a soundtrack of thoughts. I love it so much that I’m not sure what else to say about it, except you should read it. (Text)

4. Sonnet XVII – Pablo Neruda
It’s pretty impossible to go wrong with Pablo Neruda when you’re looking for quality love poems, because he’s written some of the best in existence. This is one of my very favorites of his, and okay, I’ll admit it. The last two lines:

so close that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so close that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

kill me a little bit. For the record, I like it better in Spanish. (Text: Spanish & English)

5. Love Song – Dorothy Parker
Okay, sometimes there are poems that make me snort, which I know is very graceful and ladylike of me, but there it is. This is one of those poems. Sometimes all that mushy love junk deserves a send-up. (Text)

3 Responses

  1. (And who doesn’t? Or hasn’t?
    (And who doesn’t? Or hasn’t? And if you don’t or haven’t, what are you, a robot?)

    I don’t, and haven’t; I’m not a robot, though I’ve been mistaken for one in some quarters. Instead, all those years spent memorizing sonnets, quatrains, sestinas and such – the commitment to memory of perhaps a thousand different epigrams concerning love, romance, and sex – serve well in those moments where I’m called upon to impress some damsel who might otherwise look askance at my diminutive frame.

    You’ve selected one of my favorites, in fact: the Creeley poem is probably my favorite modern love poem. The Neruda is as well a fine poem, one I enjoy (though the English rendering here is far less lyrical than the original). There is of course no shortage of fine odes to love in the work of Pablo Neruda!

  2. Thanks.

    I believe in love

    I believe in love but it don’t believe in me ( Roller Skate Skinny, Old 97’s.

    I am a robot. Or turn in to one. But the antidote is to press my knee cap to turn back human – machines of living grace.

    Machines is robots.

    (Take care)

    Once the kids reach a certain age the turn in to a robot gag is played out.

  3. all the poems you picked on
    all the poems you picked on my all time list.
    i also love The DOOR by creeley. brautigan has always held a special place for me not least because of his tragic end and my fleeting meeting with him one rainy night at washington sq. bar and grill in san francisco circa 1976. he was friendly and willingly engaged the doe eyed idiot kids that we were back then.for me brautigan packs those little poems with the most density possible like they were written on another planet with tremendous gravity the words are power picked for effect. cree;ey can be the same focused like a laser beam. there is no wasted pen stroke or throw away phrases to fill in the space on the page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What we're up to ...

Litkicks is 26 years old! This website has been on a long and wonderful journey since 1994. We’re relaunching the whole site on a new platform in June 2021, and will have more updates soon. We’ve also been busy producing a couple of podcasts – please check them out.

World BEYOND War: A New Podcast
Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera

Explore related articles ...