First read the following, reprinted without permission from "Savage Love" by Dan Savage, appearing in "The Village Voice" on April 8, 1997:
Question: I'd like to take issue with your "red-hot insight" that
"sending poems screams 'DO NOT CONSIDER DATING ME, AS I AM A GEEK.'"
I realize that these days any whiff of romance or emotional intimacy is considered uncool.
But why should poetry scream "geek" any louder than leather scream "thug"
or sex toys scream "pervert"?
You're right, poetry is difficult to pull off. Most greeting cards are an example of just how mawkish and clumsy poems can be. Should we abandon verse entirely just because it's problematic? Your insistence that "if you absolutely must send a poem, DO NOT send one you wrote yourself" is a bit like telling the would-be lover not to attempt baking cakes or cookies, since only a confectioner can make them properly.
It's true, a soppy poem can send pretty heavy signals. But sometimes I should think the simple lowering of barriers is enough: your poem may be appreciated for its intent rather than its rhyme, scansion, and tastefulness. Besides, Nineties Man, you're going to have to drop those barriers sooner or later. If the love object takes flight when you pull out a poem, what's he or she going to do when you pull out a dildo or --- let's be old fashioned for a moment --- a dozen red roses?
Answer: Pulling out a dildo is infinitely more romantic than pulling out a poem --- unless, of course, the dildo is already in your ass (or twat), in which case leaving it be would be more romantic. But I admit to being kind of philistine when it comes to poetry, to say nothing of having a rather pronounced pro-dildo bias. So I asked Lynn Emanuel, a poet who lives in poetic Pittsburg, if she thinks love poems are a good idea. She says:
"It's hard to write love poems these days
Because there's such incredible weight
Centuries of love poems
That you come up against."
Does Lynn write love poems?
I've been married
To the same person,"
who's apparently more husband than muse. If Lynn were single, would poetry be a weapon in her love arsenal?
"No, it wouldn't
Because then it's in service
Of some practical end."
Do Lynn and the husband exchange poems on Valentine's Day? Does her husband send her a card with some horrible roses are red/violets are blue crap in it?
"No he doesn't
On Valentine's Day
We go out to dinner
Lynn's brill collections of sensual, non-love poems --- "The Dig" and "Hotel Fiesta" --- are available from University of Illinois Press.
End of copyright violation. Love poetry is a genre that died out with Romanticism, if not before. Check out some 60's song lyrics or old musical theatre songs instead. Sorry for making you jump!
Searching for NON-LOVE POETRY? Click here to read over 200 poems written by Barry, his father and grandfather. Or read the pregnancy poems by clicking here. Or visit the Harry Ruby Memorial Page to read the original lyrics to "Indelible You" by Mr. Ruby.