Need some help wooing your honey this Valentine’s Day? Here are fourteen of our favorite queer love poems, rounded up from and across the web.

  1. Who better to start us off than Sappho? In this fragment, translated by Richard Lattimore, she describes just how much havoc a crush can wreak: “Let me only glance where you are, the voice dies,/ I can say nothing…” [Academy of American Poets]
  2. Shakespeare‘s gender-bending Sonnet 20 remains one of my favorites. A perfect read for the “master-mistress” of passion in your life! [Poetry Archive]
  3. In “The Shampoo,” famously private Elizabeth Bishop finally lets her hair down. Randall Mann chose the piece for Saeed Jones’ “What Makes a Poem Gay?” series last year, calling it “an evasive, erotic celebration…” [For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry]
  4. Having a hard time expressing yourself? Let Henri Cole‘s beautiful “Gravity and Center” explain for you: “I’m sorry I cannot say I love you when you say/ you love me…” [Academy of American Poets]
  5. In “My Box,” Eileen Myles writes that she wants “…to be/ loved like/ a sunbeam…” And who doesn’t? [Eileen Myles]
  6. Single this V-day? Just remember, you’re never alone when you have a celebrity crush. Check out Alex Dimitrov‘s ode to celebrity du jour James Franco for inspiration. [Lambda Literary]
  7. Gabrielle Calvocoressi‘s “A Love Supreme” offers a taste of both the “sweet and sweaty” sides of eros. [From the Fishouse]
  8. In “Paul’s Tattoo,” Mark Doty watches “the blank page of [his] dear one’s bicep” get filled in. Getting inked has never sounded more appealing. [Slate]
  9. “I wanted to say that you looked sweeter than a slice of ginger cake…” These two lovely poems by Kirsty Logan are sure to make everyone jealous of the muse behind them. [Lambda Literary]
  10. Scott Hightower‘s “Physician’s Heart” is the perfect poem for the McDreamy in your life, while “Love” will appeal to any couple who “never sleep[s] apart…” [Good Reads]
  11. In these excerpts from “Twenty-One Love Poems,” Adrienne Rich reflects on the kind of love that comes only with age and wisdom: “At twenty, yes: we thought we’d live forever./ At forty-five, I want to know even our limits.” [Southern Cross Review]
  12. Loving long distance? Give Timothy Liu‘s “I Needed Your Body Near Me” a read: “An ocean is nothing, there is no separation/ between two lovers.” [Lambda Literary]
  13. And there’s no better day than February 14th for Kay Ryan to remind us that “It is important/ to stay sweet/ and loving.” [Poetry Foundation]
  14. Finally, a video of my celebrity crush, Frank O’Hara, reading his classic poem “Having a Coke with You.” I’ll be spending tonight drinking a bottle of cheap champagne and watching this on repeat. [YouTube]

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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2 Responses to “Poems for Your Queerly Beloved”

  1. Jameson Fitzpatrick 14 February 2011 at 9:44 AM #

    And be sure to check out the Poetry Foundation’s great list of queer love poems here:

  2. Antonio Gonzalez Cerna 14 February 2011 at 1:14 PM #

    What a great list J! Loved reading this.

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