Wedding Poetry

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Poetry is about connection. It can evoke intense feelings with few words, and the more emotion it arouses in you, the more you love it. This is why poetry is so appropriate for weddings, and why there’s such a long relationship between the two.

In today’s modern culture, more couples are wanting verse to be spoken that is very representative of their relationship and having a fresh or unique sound. The wonderful news is that the well runs very deep. Here are a few that are some personal favorites of mine:

FROM CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN
By Louis de Bernières

Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

LOVE SONNET 17
By Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

CLOSE CLOSE ALL NIGHT
By Elizabeth Bishop

Close close all night
the lovers keep.
They turn together
in their sleep,
close as two papers
in a book
that read each other
in the dark.
Each knows all
the other knows
learnt by heart
from head to toes.

The last piece I would like to share is prose. It is from a writer who is so dear to me, Madeleine L’Engle. I love what she says.

The Irrational Season
by Madeleine L’Engle
“Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling.”

This is a book that Adrian and I used for our wedding. It was so helpful and I still like to sift through it from time to time.

Into The Garden: A Wedding Anthology: Poetry and Prose on Love and Marriage

Good luck and have fun with your research!!!

Shawn Cavlan – Sound In Motion Entertainment