Nothing can be more romantic than words written from the heart and famous poets have excelled at this art form. If you are adept at creating your own poetry or writing then consider it a good thing, otherwise, it never hurts to take a few lessons from notable Irish poets and let them guide you and inspire your creative pen.
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born in 1882 in Dublin. Many of Joyce’s poems center around death and bereavement which may have been considerably influenced by his upbringing and childhood in Ireland, however, even some hopeful lines were extracted from one of his poems, “I Would in That Sweet Bosom Be.”
“I would in that sweet bosom be
(O sweet it is and fair it is!)
Where no rude wind might visit me.
Because of sad austerities
I would in that sweet bosom be.
I would be ever in that heart
(O soft I knock and soft entreat her!)
Where only peace might be my part.
Austerities were all the sweeter
So I were ever in that heart.”
For those of you looking for translation, Joyce is saying that he finds comfort and solace in the bosom, embrace or possibly the arms of the person he loves. No one can disturb him there. That is something we can all aspire for.
Another noteworthy poet is William Butler Yeats who was also born in Dublin although he was born in 1839. Yeats was a very distinguished poet and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932. He was the first Irishman to win this award.
Of love Yeats wrote in “A Man Young and Old: I. First Love
“She smiled and that transfigured me
And left me but a lout,
Maundering here, and maundering there,
Emptier of thought
Than the heavenly circuit of its stars
When the moon sails out.”
For Yeats, his description of first love left him restless and anxious and seemingly unfulfilled. Her smile left him not knowing what to do so he tended to go from “here to there” all because of her smile.
Finally, another brilliant Irishman who could sum up his true feelings in poetry was Thomas Moore. Also born in Dublin in 1779, Moore had two younger sisters and was the poorest of the three poets in this list. Moore showed aspirations to become an artist and entertainer from an early age and pursued his interests despite his economic setbacks.
He summed up his idea of love in “Come, Rest in this Bosom.”
“Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer,
Though the herd have fled from thee, thy home is still here;
Here still is the smile, that no cloud can o’ercast,
And a heart and a hand all thy own to the last.
Oh! what was love made for, if ’tis not the same
Through joy and through torment, through glory and shame?
I know not, I ask not, if guilt’s in that heart?
I but know that I love thee, whatever thou art.
Thou hast call’d me thy angel in moments of bliss,
And thy Angel I’d be, ‘mid the horrors of this, —
Through the furnace, unshrinking, thy steps to pursue,
And shield thee, and save thee, — or perish there too! ”
Unmistakably, Moore tells the person who is unidentified in the poem that although they seem to have been sick and abandoned, that he is there for them and that their home is with him. He says that he will basically always have a smile for them, never a frown, his heart will always be there and his hand will always be there to help them. He is telling them that he will be there through good times and bad in essence just like what many traditional wedding vows entail in modern times. Finally, he promises to protect and save them until they both die.
These Irish lads lived centuries ago and in different circumstances than our own and some terribly worse than our own, yet they still understood the meaning and concept of love and conceptualized it in a wonderful way. Whatever way you understand love to be, try and embody it in your own writing for your valentine or significant other and be sure to let them know how much you care. If you still can’t summon the words, borrow some form Joyce, Yeats or Moore for a day. I’m sure they won’t mind.