Poetry Filter: Challenge Level, Romantic Gay Wedding
October 27, 2013 3:20 PM   Subscribe

I may or may not have to present during the wedding ceremony and the following dance and performance numbers, but I'd at least like to have a great poem to present as a framed gift with some photos.

I'm digging through some Robert Frost/lots of other poetry and looking for the recently famous gay love letters from WWII. I'm a poet, but I'm not gay and I keep reflecting back to my only gay-related experiences of family and friends being tortured and ridiculed. Please help me find a poem OR help me find a writing direction. There will be time for me to speak, IF I can present something of a tear jerker/heart warmer.

Many thanks in advance!!
posted by snsranch to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Does it have to be specifically about gay relationships? Gibran's "On Love" and "On Marriage" are nice, and don't specify genders.
posted by Houstonian at 3:36 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

You could quote part of W. H. Auden's As I Walked Out (ignoring the later, less cheerful verses)

'I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,

'I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

'The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.'

Or if you're going a more humorous route there's his Foxtrot From A Play

If its presenting something written, e.e. cummings has some beautiful love poems. A favourite of mine is I Carry Your Heart
posted by billiebee at 4:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Every Day You Play
Pablo Neruda

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars if the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. the wind.
I can only contend against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here. Oh you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honey suckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwind in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
posted by theora55 at 4:32 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing
By Walt Whitman

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.
posted by third rail at 5:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


May 16,2004

Will you remember me the way I am
today? This long engagement---twenty years---
has taken something of a toll. I came
to bed last night, and thought that we were far

from being done with dreams. You turned to me,
and I was young, and still afraid; June's moon
peered in, parental with concern. My knee
ached, punishment for worshipping the loam

in our small garden. Irises in bloom,
their wizened, bearded faces beautiful
old men's, dispensed their blessings and their blame.
You painted furniture, and said “I will,

of course I will.” I planted savory,
not hardy through the winter months, beside
the mint you hate for its invasiveness.
A breeze intruded, always the bright bride

the whole world wants to marry. A life's work,
as yet only half done, ubiquitous---
I felt tired, and it would soon be dark,
but none may refuse love, not even us.
posted by spunweb at 7:12 PM on October 27, 2013

Rafael Campo should have some other love poems too -- they might be on his website.
posted by spunweb at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2013

Oh, and he talks a lot about his partner in his bio, The Poetry of Healing. He's absolutely lovely.

I know Mark Doty has some love poems but I'm only finding the "The Embrace," which is a love poem about grieving... so not good for a wedding.
posted by spunweb at 7:21 PM on October 27, 2013

Oh, and there's this too:

Queer Love Poems
LGBTQ love poetry by and for gay men, lesbians, and the queer community.

Here's another Campo that's kinda cute:

Love Song for Love Songs
by Rafael Campo

A golden age of love songs and we still
can't get it right. Does your kiss really taste
like butter cream? To me, the moon's bright face
was neither like a pizza pie nor full;
the Beguine began, but my eyelid twitched.
"No more I love you's," someone else assured
us, pouring out her heart, in love (of course)—
what bothers me the most is that high-pitched,
undone whine of "Why am I so alone?"
Such rueful misery is closer to
the truth, but once you turn the lamp down low,
you must admit that he is still the one,
and baby, baby he makes you so dumb
you sing in the shower at the top of your lungs.
- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23109#sthash.mgmpl0JV.dpuf

and another:

Song in the Off Season

Last boats grow lonely in the harbor.
The clanging buoys mark their shoals,
as if the sea were time, its danger, hours.
The restaurants are shuttered closed.

October: doddering leaves tell
the same old stories to the wind.
The secret reasons for their fall
remain unsaid, to our chagrin.

Off season, those who still remain
look hungry, like they want to know.
The older couple, gripped in pain;
the stray white cat, portent of snow.

You're here with me, near the world's end.
A cup of tea pretends to dream;
we read. It's good to be back in.
Let the night revise, the lamp gleam:

We're sure of insecurity.
Floors creak, from no one's weight but home's.
My love, you asked what we should be.
It's not enough, what we've become?
posted by spunweb at 7:29 PM on October 27, 2013

Christina Rossetti's a Birthday
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:36 PM on October 27, 2013

The Coming of Light
by Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.
posted by faineant at 5:02 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

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