7 poems about romance

Photos by Mehwash Bhatti

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💘 Enjoy this selection of poems about romantic love…

1. “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns

O my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
O my luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

2. “First Love” by John Clare

I ne’er was struck before that hour
   With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
   And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale,
   My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
   My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
   And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
   Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
   Words from my eyes did start—
They spoke as chords do from the string,
   And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?
   Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
   Not love's appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
   As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
   And can return no more.

3. “Bedouin Song” by Bayard Taylor

From the Desert I come to thee
 On a stallion shod with fire;
And the winds are left behind
 In the speed of my desire.
Under thy window I stand,
 And the midnight hears my cry:
I love thee, I love but thee,
 With a love that shall not die
     Till the sun grows cold,
     And the stars are old,
     And the leaves of the Judgment
           Book unfold!
  Look from thy window and see
 My passion and my pain;
I lie on the sands below,
 And I faint in thy disdain.
Let the night-winds touch thy brow
 With the heat of my burning sigh,
And melt thee to hear the vow
 Of a love that shall not die,
     Till the sun grows cold,
     And the stars are old,
     And the leaves of the Judgment
           Book unfold!
  My steps are nightly driven
 By the fever in my breast,
To hear from thy lattice breathed
 The word that shall give me rest.
Open the door of thy heart,
 And open thy chamber door,
And my kisses shall teach thy lips
 The love that shall fade no more
     Till the sun grows cold,
     And the stars are old,
     And the leaves of the Judgment
           Book unfold!

4. “Ask Me Why I Love You” by Walter Everette Hawkins

Ask me why I love you, dear,
 And I will ask the rose
Why it loves the dews of Spring
 At the Winter’s close;
Why the blossoms’ nectared sweets
 Loved by questing bee,—
I will gladly answer you,
 If they answer me.

Ask me why I love you, dear,
 And I will ask the flower
Why it loves the Summer sun,
 Or the Summer shower;
I will ask the lover’s heart
 Why it loves the moon,
Or the star-besprinkled skies
 In a night in June.

Ask me why I love you, dear,
 I will ask the vine
Why its tendrils trustingly
 Round the oak entwine;
Why you love the mignonette
 Better than the rue,—
If you will but answer me,
 I will answer you.

Ask me why I love you, dear,
 Let the lark reply,
Why his heart is full of song
 When the twilight’s nigh;
Why the lover heaves a sigh
 When her heart is true;
If you will but answer me,
 I will answer you.

5. “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
  If this be error and upon me proved,
  I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

6. “Romance” by Claude McKay

To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,
Scented and warm against my beating breast;

To whisper soft and quivering your name,
And drink the passion burning in your frame;

To lie at full length, taut, with cheek to cheek,
And tease your mouth with kisses till you speak;

Love words, mad words, dream words, sweet senseless words,
Melodious like notes of mating birds;

To hear you ask if I shall love always,
And myself answer: Till the end of days;

To feel your easeful sigh of happiness
When on your trembling lips I murmur: Yes;

It is so sweet. We know it is not true.
What matters it? The night must shed her dew.

We know it is not true, but it is sweet—
The poem with this music is complete.

7. “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
  And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
  With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
  All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
  Why not I with thine?—
See the mountains kiss high heaven
  And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
  If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
  And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
  If thou kiss not me?

Review of #SoundofMusicOslo

Standing ovation for Scenekvelder’s The Sound of Music

I bought tickets to see The Sound of Music at the Folketeateret in spring (six months before it even premiered!), and had been anticipating it ever since. Scenekvelder does not disappoint in this production and, through shrewd storytelling and extraordinary set design, managed to blow me away with their delightful retelling of this beautiful classic.

Under the direction of Lars Jacobsen, the audience is given fresh look at this family favourite. We are able to penetrate the icy, authoritative exterior of Captain von Trapp (portrayed by Håvard Bakke) in a touching scene where he is alone in his office, drinking Scotch and thinking of his dead wife (whose portrait stands in the living room). Lena Kristin Ellingsen shines splendidly in the role of whimsical, carefree Maria – the nun-turned-governess who brings love and music back to the Von Trapp household. Ulrikke Brandstorp adds a cheeky, playful side to Liesl (who is more often portrayed as sweet and subtle). Opposite Lars Henrik Aarnes as Rolf, she sings forebodingly (English translation mine):

Jeg vet at verden endrer seg
Og her er mitt poeng:
Den som behøver hjelp av deg –
Du henger med feil gjeng!

Det du trenger
Er en god venn som
Lytter og vet for seg.
Du er 17, skal bli snart 18
Du bør følge… med meg!

I know the world is changing fast
And here's my point of view:
What really needs some help from you –
You're friends with the wrong crowd!

That which you need
Is a good friend who
Can listen and can judge for herself.
You are 17, going on 18
You should follow... my lead!

Without a doubt, Scenekvelder understands musical theatre and how to put on a show – I greatly look forward to their production of Chess next spring!

Until then, take your entire family to watch The Sound of Music before it is too late! 😉

XOXO HONG PHUC