Today I came home to a surprise. My husband made me a cake. Now Andre is always doing sweet things, but this was a special effort. It is only the second time in two decades (perhaps even in his life) that he has ever baked a cake. I am proud to say that both times were for me. I’m living a love story.
I’m a romantic. I love it when I get special treats; a cake, a wink or a stolen kiss. I’m a sucker for a romantic movie (or even commercial), and as an adult have developed an appreciation for love poems. My favourite is Dylan Thomas’s (And Death Shall Have No Dominion). I like to imagine the love that inspired the poems, and then let my imagination wander into the lives of the poets and their loves. At the moment I’m toying with the idea for a historical fiction based on romantic poetry. So many ideas, so little time.
Love poems come in many forms. They can praise the qualities of a love or tell a tragic tale but they all share the same goal, to express the depth of the word love. Sometimes the word itself is so powerful it gets in the way. The word love is all at once the simplest and most complicated word I know. It’s intimidating in that it perfectly states an emotion that could never be described fully. In poetry (at least for me) the word love can be a barrier to expression so in this exercise, write a love poem without using the word love. Think about love. What does it mean to you. How does it make you feel? Where is it found. Then take thirty minutes and make your readers understand love without ever using the word. Happy writing.