Poetry and Prose

Song Lyrics
February 2, 2020
Excerpts from Literature
February 2, 2020

Poetry and Prose

Everything I know About Love

Neil Gaiman

This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
 This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze, and not to be alone.
It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean. Somebody’s got your back.

Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you or send for the army to rescue them.
It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing, like a book without pages or a forest without trees.
Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them. Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.

Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours, and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing. And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,

not knowing for certain if someone else is even there. And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again. And that’s all I know about love.

When two people join together

Regina Hill

When two people join together and bond their lives forever
Because they are certain they have something special that will make their commitment last…
This is the first act of faith.

Upon this act of faith these two people will build a life.
And as long as their determination stays with them this life will always be their hope,

Their dreams, their truth, their being, their inspiration, and their source of strength.
Through their life together, they will hurt and laugh.
Together they will feel all of life’s up and downs.
They will learn and grow through trial and error.
The lessons will show them the meaning of true love

And the difference between a love that lasts and one that just gives up.
These two people will face each failure together and discover the strength to go on.
They will encourage each other’s dreams and forgive each other’s faults.
Through a labour of love these two will become as one,
Fighting against the odds and ultimately creating a commitment that will grow into an infinite love.

The Art of a Good Marriage

Wilfred Peterson

A good marriage must be created.

In the marriage, the little things are the big things…

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person, it is being the right partner.


by Bertrand Russell

Today I marry my friend,
The one I have laughed with and cried with
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage,
And give myself to,
Through all the days given us to share.
Today I marry the one I love.

I carry your heart with me

by E E Cummings

I carry your heart with me; I carry it in my heart.

I am never without it.

Anywhere I go you go, my dear;

And whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling.

I fear no fate for you are my fate, my sweet.

I want no world for beautiful you are my world, my true.

And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant,

And whatever a sun will always sing is you.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows;

Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

And the sky of the sky of a tree called life, which grows

Higher than soul can hope, or mind can hide.

And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.

I carry your heart; I carry it in my heart.

How Falling in love is like owning a dog

By Performance Poet Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk. Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions

at once, or wind itself around and around you until you’re all wound up and you cannot move. But love makes you meet people wherever you go. People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Yes, I’ll Marry You

Pam Ayres

Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear. And here’s the reason why; So I can push you out of bed When the baby starts to cry,

And if we hear a knocking
And it’s creepy and it’s late,
I hand you the torch you see, And you investigate.
Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
You may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes It’s you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour Should our labrador attack him, And if a drunkard fondles me It’s you that has to whack him.

Yes, I’ll marry you,
You’re virile and you’re lean,
My house is like a pigsty
You can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas,
You can cook it every night!
It’s you who has to work the drill
and put up curtain track,
And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak, I do see great advantages,
But none of them for you,
And so before you see the light,
I do, I do, I do!


by Roy Croft

I love you
Not only for what you are, But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself, But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me That you bring out;

I love you
For putting your hand Into my heaped-up heart And passing over
All the foolish, weak things That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out Into the light All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find

I love you because you Are helping me to make Of the lumber of my life Not a tavern

But a temple.

Out of the works Of my every day Not a reproach But a song.

I love you

Because you have done More than any creed Could have done
To make me good.

And more than any fate Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it Without a touch, Without a word, Without a sign.

You have done it
By being yourself. Perhaps that is what Being a friend means, After all.

Love Is Friendship Set On Fire

Laura Hendricks

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

Love me when I am old

By Bee Rawlinson

Love me when I’m old and shocking Peel off my elastic stockings Swing me from the chandeliers Let’s be randy bad old dears.

Push around my chromed Bath Chair Let me tease your white chest hair Scaring children, swapping dentures Let us have some great adventures

Take me to the Dogs and Bingo Teach me how to speak the lingo Bone my eels and bring me tea Show me how it’s meant to be

Take me to your special places Watching all the puzzled faces
You in shorts and socks and sandals Me with warts and huge love-handles

As the need for love enthralls Wrestle with my damp proof smalls Make me laugh without constraint Buy me chocolate body paint

Hold me safe throughout the night When my hair has turned to white Believe me when I say it’s true
I’ve waited all my life for you

Soul Mates

by Lang Leav

I don’t know how you are so familiar to me — or why it feels less like I am getting to know you more and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before — in another time, a different place, some other existence.

Tree of Life

By Melanie James

Today is not the culmination but
Just the beginning of a growing love;
Today just plants the seed from which will grow A new tree of life yet untried, untested.

Possibly a tall eucalyptus tree,
Able to bend with the winds and storms; Maybe a wattle, reliably bright –
Symbol of nation, of what’s right and true.

Or maybe a new breed to us yet unknown, Which finds meaning and purpose anew. Today’s wedding is just the tree’s planting.

Our friendship and love provides the rich soil; Our best wishes add the right warmth and light; Your life until now has just tilled the earth, Working together from here makes love grow.

Time In A Bottle

Jim Croce

If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever; if words could make wishes come true; I’d save every day like a treasure and then, again, I would spend them with you.

If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true; the box would be empty, except for the memory of how they were answered by you. But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I’ve looked around enough to know that you’re the one I want to go through time with.

Wild Awake

Hilary T. Smith

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love

lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”

From First Poems

Rainer Maria Rilke

Understand, I’ll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
 I’ll pursue solitary pathways
 Through the pale twilit meadows,
 With only this one dream:

You come too.


Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building, are careful to test out the scaffolding; Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done

Showing off walls of sure and solid stone. So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be Old bridges breaking between you and me Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall Confident that we have built our wall.

Touched by an Angel

Mary Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
 exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
 until love leaves its high holy temple
 and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
 from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
 In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Coming Home

Mary Oliver

When we are driving in the dark,
on the long road to Provincetown,
when we are weary,
when the buildings and the scrub pines lose their familiar look,
 I imagine us rising from the speeding car.

I imagine us seeing everything from another place–
the top of one of the pale dunes, or the deep and nameless
 fields of the sea.

And what we see is a world that cannot cherish us,
 but which we cherish.
And what we see is our life moving like that
along the dark edges of everything,

headlights sweeping the blackness,
believing in a thousand fragile and unprovable things.
 Looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me.

A Life for a Life

Dinah Craik

Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.