Poetry Advice?

Just in case I get hit by a bus before august of 2023 (feeling imminent bus hit vibes at the moment for reasons), I wanna do something special for my boyfriend’s birthday.  Safe to talk about it here because he only reads posts I call to his attention.  Anyway, I’d like to write him a poem, but I can’t think of an approach that feels right.

He doesn’t like to think about his corporeal existence so talk about how he physically appeals to me should probably be kept to a minimum.  I’m way out of practice being romantic because I excised most of those feelings from my head in response to some bad relationships past, and the rest bled out when age diminished my ardor (sez the 46 year old geezer).

Any poets, bards, or modern day troubadours in my audience have a notion?  A form or structure for poems you’re liking lately?  An angle for waxing poetic when inspiration is hard to pin down?  I could contemplate this guy in writing here, but he’s a private person and I’d best not.  Not sure what to say.


  1. StonedRanger says

    Im not a poet so I cant offer any help there. But I do know about love and my advice is to offer what is in your head and in your heart and only you know what that is. The form shouldnt matter. Love and joy shared is love and joy increased no matter how it comes.

  2. Tethys says

    Perhaps you could start with a meaningful song, and personalize the lyrics to your relationship?

    If nothing else, it’s a place to start, which is always a helpful thing for writing.

  3. lanir says

    When I’ve written poetry that I want to be about someone specific I think I tend to look for something that calls to mind who they are and what they’re like. Doesn’t have to sum them up entirely, just a bit of who they are. And not the obvious things they might say if you were to dryly sum them up. What I use are the little quirks that help suggest some part of who they are.

    I don’t usually think about it this much though. Usually those are just the traits that seem to help most when I’m thinking of what to write down. The benefit of going this route is that even if the rest is a bit shaky there’s still a message that comes through: I see you, I know you, I appreciate you. That’s generally romantic enough to work. 🙂

  4. Alan G. Humphrey says

    You can use a shared experience, which doesn’t have to be romantic, a song, movie, walk, game or whatever. The structure could be like a game of tennis where you begin with him as the focus, then you, back and forth leading up to that experience, ending with a shared focus of it.

  5. Callinectes says

    On four occasions I’ve been asked by friends and family to write a poem to read at their their wedding, which is a subject matter that I have nothing earnest to say about. So I twisted the brief slightly to be slightly about something that I actually could comment on.

    The first was about the watching with steadily rising anxiety the numerous preparations for the wedding tick by while I put off writing the actual poem. It ended with the implication that I just hastily knocked it out at the venue shortly before the ceremony. I read the poem off a long sheet of toilet paper.

    In the second I stylised the poem as a kind of scientific paper (written in verse) in which I described love and relationships as a kind of broad co-dependent psychotic illness, and proposed cohabitation as a kind of convenient institutionalisation to aid in their tragic life-long care.

    The third cast the bride and groom as D&D-style adventurers and the wedding party, vicar, and guests as classic D&D monsters, whom they graphically slaughtered one by one for the EXP and Rings of Matrimony +1

    The fourth, performed in the appropriate voice an accent, cast the bride and groom as pirates seeking treasure in the belly of a legendary Megalodon. They failed miserably and limped home in a broken vessel, totally destitute.

    I don’t know why everyone keeps coming to me for these.

    In short: use your imagination. You can get away with saying the most outrageous things in public if it’s in metered rhyme.

  6. Jazzlet says

    Do you have any kerTHUD moments, when your heart suddenly went kerTHUD?

    For reasons I won’t go into Paul and I agreed to go out together, but also not to say we loved each other, and we carried on like that for quite some time (at least a couple of years). Then we went on holiday to the north of Scotland, one of the things we wanted to do was to see puffins, becasue I mean PUFFINS. Anyway we found puffins nesting on 300ft sea cliffs, and Paul wanted some photos, he tried various angles, then decided he’d get a good shot by sitting on the edge of the cliff with his feet hanging over that 300ft cliff, leaning forward to get just the right angle while adjusting an old manual SLR . . . and my heart went kerTHUD, I was terrified he was going to fall, but absolutely frozen, unable to speak. That was when I realised I really did love him, and eventually I told him so, well after he had got up and back from that fucking cliff edge. I’ve had kerTHUDs since, when I’ve been frightened for him, like his cancer diagnosis, but also when he does something just so him. I guess what I’m trying to say is that telling your him that there are moments, not necessarily romantic moments, but terrified or whatever, when you have seen him for what he is, because trying to get just the right shot is very Paul, and as his favoured subject is buses has lead to him eg standing in the middle of a road . . .

    Not sure that helps at all.


    Poems for special people don’t have to be long. A personal favorite that a husband wrote on the occasion of his wife’s mastectomy:
    Pieces and parts
    may depart
    But you and me
    Go on as we.

    Think about specifics of why you love this person.

  8. says

    (Insert “Yes.. Yesss…” Sickos meme here)
    Thank you, thank you.
    I was saying I love you within a month, my boyfriend waited a year, used it as an anniversary present, in a sense. Some people are very careful with their hearts.

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