February is the month of love. We at Top Six List are bringing you exclusively selected extracts from love letters of famous poets and writers. Read them, get inspired and write your own love letter for your sweetheart.
1. Lord Byron
Lord Byron or George Gordon Byron was an Indian poet and one of the fore-runners of the Romantic Movement. Byron was an intense lover and felt love intense love. Even at the age of 8 he wrote about his first intense feelings for a distant cousin named Mary Duff. He had a number of mistresses and wrote enormous amount of passionate love letter to them. The following is an extract from one such love letter –
“If tears, which you saw & know I am not apt to shed, if the agitation in which I parted from you, agitation which you must have perceived through the whole of this most nervous nervous affair, did not commence till the moment of leaving you approached, if all that I have said & done, & am still but too ready to say & do, have not sufficiently proved what my real feelings are & must be ever towards you, my love, I have no other proof to offer.”
2. John Keats
Keats was an English Romantic poet and a comrade of Lord Byron. He died at the age of 25 and it was only four years before his death that his works started getting published. Toady his poetry and letters are one of the most revered and most analysed in English Literature. Keats had written the following letter to Fanny Brawne.
“So let me speak of your Beauty, though to my own endangering; if you could be so cruel to me as to try elsewhere its Power. You say you are afraid I shall think you do not love me – in saying this, you make me ache the more to be near you. I am at the diligent use of my faculties here; I do not pass a day without sprawling some blank verse or tagging some rhymes; and here I must confess, that (since I am on that subject) I love you the more in that I believe you have liked me for my own sake and for nothing else. I have met with women whom I really think would like to be married to a Poem and to be given away by a Novel.”
3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Her poetry is widely read and appreciated. She was one of the most prominent poets of her time i.e. the Victorian era. She was a social activist too and had worked to reform in the child labour legislation. E.B. Browning even campaigned for the abolition of slavery. She was married to the famous poet Robert Browning.
“I was thinking the other day that certainly, and after all (or, rather, before all), I had loved you all my life unawares, that is, the idea of you. Women begin, for the most part (if ever so very little given to reverie) by meaning, in an aside to themselves, to love such and such an ideal, seen sometimes in a dream, and sometimes in a book, and forswearing their ancient faith as the years creep on.”
4. Katherine Mansfield
A revered modernist short fiction writer, Mansfield with other modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. She was brought up in colonial New Zealand and later settled in the United Kingdom. She died at the age of 34.
“My darling, Do not imagine, because you find these lines in your private book that I have been trespassing. You know I have not – and where else shall I leave a love letter? For I long to write you a love letter tonight. You are all about me – I seem to breathe you – hear you – feel you in me and of me …”
5. Zelda Fitzgerald
She was an American novelist and an icon of the 1920s. Married to writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, she called her husband “the first American Flapper.” The following letter she had written to her husband.
“Darling – I love these velvet nights. I’ve never been able to decide … whether I love you most in the eternal classic half-lights where it blends with day or in the full religious fan-fare of mid-night or perhaps in the lux of noon. Anyway, I love you most and you ’phoned me just because you phoned me tonight – I walked on those telephone wires for two hours after holding your love like a parasol to balance me.”
6. Dylan Thomas
Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer. Today he is regarded as a significant 20th Century Welsh poets. Dylan Thomas was associated with modernism and neo-romanticism.
“Cat: my cat: If only you would write to me: My love, oh Cat. This is not, as it seems from the address above, a dive, a joint, saloon, etc, but the honourable & dignified headquarters of the dons of the University of Chicago. I love you. That is all I know. But all I know, too, is that I am writing into space: the kind of dreadful, unknown space I am just going to enter. I am going to Iowa, Illinois, Idaho, Indindiana, but these, though misspelt, are on the map. You are not. Have you forgotten me? I am the man you used to say you loved. I used to sleep in your arms – do you remember? But you never write. You are perhaps mindless of me. I am not of you. I love you.”