Imagine if someone could peer into your soul, pull the words out, and put them down on paper for you. Poetry is not just a thing of Shakespearean past, but rather one of the most profound ways to express the human spirit as it encounters war, despair, discovery, enlightenment, and love. Whether your heart is breaking into pieces or brimming with of love, sometimes a good poem is exactly what you needed.
So when it comes to matters of the heart, poetry couldn’t be more apropos. To add emotional depth and riveting romantic masterpieces to your bookshelf, we sifted through the many love poetry books, current and historical, and narrowed down the must-haves. There for you when you need it, read these poems while soaking in a tub, recite them to your lover, or just sweetly savor them all to yourself.
Love Her Wild is a collection of short poems that embrace life’s small relatable moments such as skinny-dipping on a hot summer night. Written by America’s new poetry sweetheart, Atticus has a growing Instagram handle followed by his devout fanbase (including many celebrities). He addresses the highs and lows of love in provocative yet short prose.
This is a must-have book of poetry collecting love poems from all “the greats” post-American and French revolutions. A time which celebrated a new innovative human spirit and its capacity to love. In The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, you’ll see familiar poems such as Blake’s “Tyger” or Coleridge’s “Khubla Khan” alongside poetry from lesser-known female poets such as Charlotte Smith and Mary Robinson.
Written by Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey looks at love through the lens of suffering and survival. Love during or after loss, tragedy and violence, the book takes readers into dark corners of life unveiling the sweet moments that still exist within them. The book is divided into four chapters, each with a different version of pain.
Anonymously published in 1952, Pablo Neruda’s Love Poems caused a provocative scandal. His poems spoke of passions and sexuality in a way that decade had yet to see, though years later, his deemed “outrageous” poetry would become to be highly praised. In this thematic book of poetry, Neruda takes refuge in the arms of his lover, Matilde Urrutia, on the dreamy island of Capri, embracing their seascape surroundings with eroticism.
This moving and innovative poetry book is broken into four parts—the princess, the damsel, the queen and you. Written by Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in This One explores love, loss, grief, power, and possibilities through the eyes of the author’s own personal experience. The book is part of the “Women Are Some Kind of Magic” series.
Here’s a collection of the best, and real, romantic letters written by men to their lovers. As famously seen on Sex and the City, the movie Love Letters of Great Men includes love letters written by Ludwig van Beethoven, Lord Byron, Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more. What could be more romantic?
Her Favorite Color Was Yellow, written by Edgar Holmes, is a tribute to his soul mate, the love of his life, his wife. A perfect book of poetry when you want to feel something of the times (published in 2017) written with simple truth. You may find some of the poems closely relatable to your own current or past relationships.
Written by Sydney-based LGBTQ+ writer Courtney Peppernell, Pillow Thoughts explores love and loss of love through raw emotions. The book is divided into separate sections, each labeled base on what the reader’s feelings and needs are in the moment. Many are straightforward, making it that much more relatable. “Be you, even when it’s hard.”
Written in the 11th century in medieval Japan, The Tale of Genji is about a shining young prince and his passionate adventures in love. Though technically a novel, Genji’s provocative character goes through turbulent nature, love affairs, alliances, and shifting political fortunes written through poetic language. The book was translated by Royall Tyler and focuses in on the early chapters.
Hafiz, a famous Persian poet during the 14th century, is a beloved favorite of Persian culture. Daniel Ladinsky, whose life’s work to translate the world’s most profound spiritual poetry, gives Hafiz’s voice a platform to come alive across centuries speaking of profound love in The Subject Tonight Is Love.
Written by Dave Maline, O: Love Poems from the Ozarks is a collection of poetry rooted in the surroundings of the Ozarks, a mountain range in southern Missouri. (And no, the book has nothing to do with the Amazon Prime hit Ozarks.) Drawing from nature in all of its erotic forms, Maline’s verses waken and intrigue inviting you to unearth passion in the bedroom.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive and thoughtful collection of love poems throughout history, add Love Poem Collection: The Greatest Love Poems of All Time to your shelf. Featuring some of the greatest minds in literary history such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Shakespeare and Henry Ford, the book was carefully curated to hit on the wide scope of human emotions provoked by love. The poetry takes place in different settings around the world, throughout time.
Written by best-selling author Michael Faudet, Bitter Sweet Love embodies his whimsical, haunting and seductive writing. The book is a continuation of his debut Dirty Pretty Things and was eagerly anticipated by loyal followers. Bitter Sweet Love explores love, heartbreak, relationships and sex through poetry, verse, and short stories.
Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver celebrates love and elated happiness in Felicity. Oliver is known to pull inspiration from wild landscapes in previous books such as Blue Horses and Dog Songs, where she describes human loving relationships with animals. But in this book, she explores what it’s like to fall in love with another human. In these poems, she embodies the peculiar wonders of the human connection.
William Wordsworth is known as one of the best English poets in history. He wrote of the celebration of nature, beauty and love so cohesively that it was considered highly innovative for his time. The Major Works presents his poems in order of composition allowing the reader to journey along with Wordsworth’s poetic development through each page.
Design a stylish reading corner for your next poetry session with our top picks below: