how to say 'i like you'
October 19, 2011 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Poets and English majors! Hark! I need a love poem for a wedding - deets inside!

Would like a poem to read at a wedding for two friends who found their soulmates late in life (late 30s and early 40s) and after a long, long search :)

Something along the lines of Tagore's poem (I like this one but need a few more choices before deciding; also i dont like the last two lines, though could cut those out if i read selections maybe), but a poem like this one which indicates the long wait for each other in quite a moving way...

"On The Nature Of Love"
The night is black and the forest has no end;
a million people thread it in a million ways.
We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where
or with whom - of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith - that a lifetime's bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.
Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs
brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks.
Then peradventure there's a flash of lightning:
whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
I call that person and cry: `This life is blest!
for your sake such miles have I traversed!'
All those others who came close and moved off
in the darkness - I don't know if they exist or not

bonus points if the author is south indian but not necessary.

Alternately, you can also just suggest your favorite non-cliche'd poem for the occasion!
posted by jak68 to Human Relations (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I think this came up in the last marriage-poetry thread--"Habitation" by Margaret Atwood:

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

The edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire
posted by Vibrissa at 5:36 PM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Two big lists with a lot of lesser known readings are this and this (From the indiebride forums and Offbeat Bride).

We used Patagonia by Kate Clanchy at our wedding. It was my favourite of the readings we found.

I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
a peninsula, wide enough
for a couple of ladderback chairs
to wobble on at high tide. I thought

of us in breathless cold, facing
a horizon round as a coin, looped
in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
from sea to sun. I planned to wait

till the waves had bored themselves
to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
growing worried in the hush,
had paddled off in tiny coracles, till

those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
had dropped slack into your lap,
until you’d turned, at last, to me.
When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant

skies all empty aching blue. I meant
years. I meant all of them with you.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 1:58 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is the poem we used on our wedding invitation (mid-30s at the time):

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
for one lone soul, another lonely soul -
Each chasing each through all the weary hours,
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal;
Then blend they - like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole -
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

- Sir Edwin Arnold
posted by drlith at 5:14 AM on October 20, 2011

Walt Whitman
When I heard at the Close of the Day

WHEN I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d;
And else, when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy;
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend, my lover, was on his way coming, O then I was happy;
O then each breath tasted sweeter—and all that day my food nourish’d me more—and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy—and with the next, at evening, came my friend;
And that night, while all was still, I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed to me, whispering, to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.
posted by Sonrisa at 8:54 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks for the great links and poems everyone... please keep 'em coming if you have more...

one question: would it be considered cheesy if they put a selection of a short poem on the wedding invite? (ie, as opposed to the whole short poem)? Cheesy or no? Better to just find a better short poem, right?
posted by jak68 at 3:14 PM on October 21, 2011

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