Sometimes to express our affection to a loved one, we reach to another's words to help us share the sentiment.
That's true on a day like Valentine's Day, when the perfect quote or a timeless poem can help us get the right message across to someone we cherish. There's an art to selecting the right words and presenting them in the best possible way, too.
You might send a card with a carefully typed poem tucked inside. You might have a singing valentine deliver a song to their office, one that captures precisely how you feel. You might even find yourself online, searching for that perfect verse to share on a loved one's Facebook page or to text to them first thing in the morning.
Shakespeare's sonnets, for example, are so popular in part because of his felicity for expressing romantic love. We call upon poets like him and so many others to express our feelings in a beguiling manner, to take what feels inexpressible and make it clear and beautiful.
To that end, Poets.org, the website run by the Academy of American Poets, may have what you need. And it's free.
"Poets, whose power is in part to translate great emotions into memorable language, have always written about love. And on the occasion dedicated to celebrating the bonds between us, there's not a better gift than a love poem," said the Academy's executive director, Jennifer Benka, in a press release about their Valentine's Day goodies.
At Poets.org, you'll find suggestions on that perfect love poem, ranging from contemporary love poems to classic ones. There are poems addressed to the beloved, erotic poems, friendship poems, poems about heartbreak and more. There are even videos of contemporary poets like Galway Kinnell and Sharon Olds reading their love poems.
Last year's top shares included poems by Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Other poets with love poems at Poets.org include Rita Dove, E. E. Cummings, Adrienne Rich, Jane Hirshfield, Kevin Young, C. D. Wright and Edwin Torres.
Check it out at Poets.org.