Words To Woo

You are like nobody since I love you.
–Pablo Neruda from Every Day You Play

We’re sending just a short note in this short month to help our readers along in the art of loving. What better way to woo than with words, spoken true. We’ve included some favorites here that hopefully will give inspiration as you set a place for your own love, be it romantic, platonic, or familial. There are beautiful cookbooks available if you want to express yourself with a delectable treat or a memorable meal, and we’ve also included Valentine ideas for kids in our new Valentine list.

Traditionally poets have given us a language of love, and this collection of letters opens up the long fruitful relationship between poet Rainer Maria Rilke and essayist, philosopher, psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salome as they explored many evolving types of love during their more than thirty year relationship.

Many of you may already know and appreciate Rūmi, the 13th-century Persian poet known for his ecstatic verse about life and love.

“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

While 19th century poet Emily Dickinson never went far from her family home or married, she expressed herself passionately as she cast a keen eye to the subject of love and friendship many times throughout her nearly 1,800 poems.

That I did always love
I bring thee Proof
That till I loved
I never lived – Enough –

That I shall love alway –
I argue thee
That love is life-
And life hath Immortality –

The ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho’s work was largely destroyed after the 4th century due to its erotic and lesbian themes. The salvaged fragments are translated in this acclaimed edition by poet and classicist Anne Carson.

stand to face me beloved
and open out the grace of your eyes

For those who are interested in a more cognitive approach, we have many suggestions that will help you find, keep, or enhance your experience of love.

Browse our Valentines For Booklovers list or visit our online bookshop to find all kinds of books that will delight Valentines of all ages.

Happy Reading!