Content This refers to what specifically the poems are about. Ideas This refers to the main themes of the poems. How they are written This part has different sections: Form and structure — the way the poems are organised. Is there a rhyme scheme? How are the stanzas split up? How is this linked to the main ideas of the poem?
Language — are there specific words or phrases that you think sum up the poems? Is positive or negative language used? What associations do the words have?
Is there sibilance , assonance , alliteration? Talk about the effect of this.
Imagery — this means things like similes, metaphors, personification, etc. Again, think about how this is linked to the central ideas of the poem. One of the few hazards of being an English professor is that when a friend or relative gets married, they might invite you to read a love poem at the wedding. The problem is that many of the greatest love poems are bad material for weddings.
No wonder countless best men, maids of honor and plainclothes officiants have found it so difficult to pick something good for the big day. The need for poems at weddings is not new. This genre reaches all the way back to ancient Greece, but the most famous epithalamia do not work well at modern weddings. The earliest examples, such as those by Sappho and Catullus , make distracting references to ancient gods — including to Hymen, the Greek god of marriage.
If you can keep your head when all about you. Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,. Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,. And stoop and. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints.
Other notable epithalamia, from Edmund Spenser to E. Cummings , are just too long and obtuse to do the trick.
The greatest love poems are full of excited, entangled bodies. Keeping it strictly PG rules out lots of wonderful love poems. Some of my personal favorites get a crucial bit of spice from erotic details. The next problem is even trickier: While good poems tend to sing with the help of specific, vivid details, these grace notes rarely match well with the couple getting hitched.
Maybe the woman in an otherwise ideal poem is a blonde, but your friend the bride is a brunette. Far less important details can still distract. Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right; I love thee purely, as they turn from praise, I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! No reason is needed for loving. Sign in Get started.