Poems about love for all occasions

Our edit of the most beautiful, moving and funny love poems, perfect for sharing with someone special any day of the year.

Sometimes a romantic love poem can put into words that which we can't say. Here we've curated our edit of the best romantic poems for every occasion. Whether you’re looking to say something sweet or need a love poem for a proposal or wedding, you’re sure to find inspiration here.

For even more inspiration discover our edit of the best poetry books.

Short love poems 

Wild Nights

Emily Dickinson

Wild nights - Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile - the winds -

To a Heart in port -

Done with the Compass -

Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden -

Ah - the Sea!

Might I but moor - tonight -

In thee!

From Wedding Readings and Poems

From Hamlet

William Shakespeare

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

From Hamlet

Illustration for From Hamlet illustrated by Chris Riddell
From Poems to Fall in Love With, illustrated by Chris Riddell.


[It’s no use / Mother dear. . .]

Sappho (translated by Mary Barnard)

It’s no use


Mother dear, I

can’t finish my weaving

                                    You may

blame Aphrodite


soft as she is she has almost

killed me with

love for that boy

From Poems to Fall in Love With, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Illustration for Its No Use Mother Dear Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Taken from Poems to Fall in Love with, illustrated by Chris Riddell.

A Ditty

Sir Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,

By just exchange one to the other given:

I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,

There never was a better bargain driven:

   My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,

My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:

He loves my heart, for once it was his own,

I cherish his because in me it bides:

   My true-love hath my heart, and I have his.

From Wedding Readings and Poems

Romantic love poems 

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art

John Keats

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

From The Picador Book of Love Poems

Sonnet 43

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

From She Is Fierce: Brave, bold and beautiful poems by women


Funny love poems

First Date

Brian Bilston 

We’d so much in common, that was clear from the start: 

a marriage of souls, like de Beauvoir and Sartre. 

The connection was instant, almost irrational: 

simply simpatico, fully compatible. 

You confessed you loved winter, North Yorkshire, and cats. 

‘Me, too!’ I responded. ‘How amazing is that?’ 

You were wild about Wharton: you loved Ethan Frome

‘His best,’ I said, thinking I’d read him when home. 

You praised a revival of Pinter’s Dumb Waiter

I nodded along. I should google that later. 

The discussion then turned to things that you hated: 

Tarantino, you thought, was quite over-rated. 

‘You make some good points,’ I eventually said. 

I could always hide that box set under my bed. 

You spoke of a loathing of poetry that rhymed 

and I said yes,

that stuff’s awful.

From Alexa, what is there to know about love?

Modern love poems


Kae Tempest

The way you hold your cup in a closed fist

Your wrists that get rheumatic in the rain

Your long feet, long legs and bony shoulders

Your smile a crash of teeth from nose to chin.


Your eyes drop three octaves when you want me

Your body is transposed into the key

Of sand dunes, raw quartz, heat from a low sun.

Suddenly as graceful as when you dance

No longer smashing your limbs into

Unmoving table-tops or burning your hands

On every available hot surface

Or head-butting the car door when you dive in


You know, it used to keep me up at night,

The lack of you

From Running Upon the Wires.

Watch Kae Tempest perform Running Upon the Wires.

Sad love poems 

Etching of a Line of Trees

John Glenday
I carved out the careful absence of a hill and a hill grew.
I cut away the fabric of the trees
and the trees stood shivering in the darkness.

When I had burned off the last syllables of wind,
a fresh wind rose and lingered.
But because I could not bring myself

to remove you from that hill,
you are no longer there. How wonderful it is
that neither of us managed to survive

when it was love that surely pulled the burr
and love that gnawed its own shape from the burnished air
and love that shaped that absent wind against a tree.

Some shadow’s hands moved with my hands
and everything I touched was turned to darkness
and everything I could not touch was light.
From John Glenday’s Grain

They flee from me

Thomas Wyatt
They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking;
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.

Love poems for weddings

The Present

Michael Donaghy
For the present there is just one moon,
though every level pond gives back another.

But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon,
perceived by astrophysicist and lover,

is milliseconds old. And even that light's
seven minutes older than its source.

And the stars we think we see on moonless nights
are long extinguished. And, of course,

this very moment, as you read this line,
is literally gone before you know it.

Forget the here-and-now. We have no time
but this device of wantonness and wit.

Make me this present then: your hand in mine,
and we'll live out our lives in it.
From Michael Donaghy’s Collected Poems

Discover the best wedding readings for every kind of couple.


Love poems for friends

Love and Friendship

Emily Brontë
Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree—
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.

From Poems to Fall in Love With, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Illustration for Love and Friendship by Chris Riddell
Taken from Poems to Fall in Love With, illustrated by Chris Riddell.

Love poems for long-distance lovers

Moon Over Madrid

Brian Moses

There’s a moon over Madrid tonight,

A bright, inquisitive moon

That’s about as full as it gets.

For me, it’s something familiar

In an unfamiliar city,

A reference point on these Spanish streets.

It keeps me company, sometimes slipping

Out of sight, dodging behind buildings

Then reappearing, while I’m thinking

How the moon holds a thread

That ties us together.

‘Look up at the moon,’ I tell you.

‘Look at the moon and imagine that thread

As a line linking you

To the mountains of the moon

And then down to the streets of Madrid.

That same moon touching your life,

Now touches mine too.’

From Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses

Love poems for her

She Walks in Beauty

Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
  Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
  Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
  Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
  How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
  So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
  But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
  A heart whose love is innocent!

From Poems for Love


You: An Achilles apple


Blushing sweet on a high branch

At the tip of the tallest tree you escaped

Those that they did not try, no. They could not forget you

Poised beyond their reach.

From Poems to Fall in Love With, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Illustration for You An Achillies Apple by Chris Riddell
Taken from Poems to Fall in Love With, illustrated by Chris Riddell.

Love poems for him

Love Song

Dorothy Parker   
My own dear love, he is strong and bold
     And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,
     And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled—
     Oh, a girl, she’d not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world,—
     And I wish I’d never met him.

My love, he’s mad, and my love, he’s fleet,
     And a wild young wood-thing bore him!
The ways are fair to his roaming feet,
     And the skies are sunlit for him.
As sharply sweet to my heart he seems
     As the fragrance of acacia.
My own dear love, he is all my dreams,—
     And I wish he were in Asia.

My love runs by like a day in June,
     And he makes no friends of sorrows.
He’ll tread his galloping rigadoon
     In the pathway of the morrows.
He’ll live his days where the sunbeams start,
     Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart,—
     And I wish somebody’d shoot him.
From Dorothy Parker’s Complete Poems.

Poems for Love

by Gaby Morgan

There has always been love, and we have been writing poetry about it for over 4,000 years. From John Donne and William Shakespeare to Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, the very best classic love poetry is collected in this elegant anthology, Poems for Love. That we still read and enjoy these heartfelt poems today is a testament both to their individual genius and to love's enduring power.

Alexa, what is there to know about love?

by Brian Bilston

If you’re looking for books about love for the poetry lover in your life, look no further than Brian Bilston’s poetry collection, Alexa, what is there to know about love? Full of poems about love in all its forms, from romantic love to familial love and even love on the internet, this is the perfect, witty gift book for Valentine’s Day. 

Poems to Fall in Love With

by Chris Riddell

This beautifully illustrated collection of love poems is the perfect gift for a loved one. 

Award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell has chosen and illustrated a selection of his favourite classic and modern love poems. Poems to Fall in Love With celebrates love in all its guises.

Poems for Love

by Gaby Morgan

This beautiful edition of Poems for Love features poets from William Shakespeare to Christina Rossetti, and covers love in all its guises - whether passion or heartbreak, infatuation or flirtation.

The Picador Book of Love Poems

by John Stammers

Award-winning poet John Stammers has a beautiful and unique collection of love poems from the present and the past, from Spenser and Tennyson to Carol Ann Duffy and Michael Donaghy.