Love, and How To Say It
by Maggie Van Ostrand
Useless are today's most popular methods of expressing love: texting e-cards, and posting. Where are the passionate and moving love letters of our past? Written in cursive by the sender, we can actually see by that handwriting what their emotional state of mind was at the time.
Peeps, even if you can't write cursive, you can print for your loved one whichever of these two samples of heartbreakingly beautiful prose is closest to what you want to say.
First is perhaps the most famous:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways./ I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight/ For the ends of being and ideal grace./ I love thee to the level of every day’s / Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light./ I love thee freely, as men strive for right./ I love thee purely, as they turn from praise./ I love thee with the passion put to use / In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith./ I love thee with a love I seemed to lose / With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,/ Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,/ I shall but love thee better after death.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806-1861
and, based on a British poll, here's the winner of Rolling Stone's "Most Romantic Love Letter of All Time," beating out Prime Minister Winston Churchill to his wife, poet John Keats to his neighbor, Jimi Hendrix to a mystery woman, and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It was written by Johnny Cash to his beloved wife, June Carter Cash on her 65th birthday, after 26 years of marriage:
"You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. / We got old and got used to each other. We think alike. We read each others [sic] minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes we take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met."
~Johnny Cash 1932-2003
Ultimately, no matter if you text, e-card, or post to the object of your love, either of these fine examples is sure to get you laid.