These Valentine's Day Poems and Messages Will Make Your Partner Swoon (2024)

There can be a lot of pressure to make a grand, romantic gesture to your partner on Valentine's Day.

Your social media will likely be flooded with sugary declarations of love, photos of expensive date nights, and the inevitable news of countless marriage proposals. If you're pressed for time or just simply don't have any ideas this year, then it can be quite a stressful occasion.

You obviously want to make a little effort and find an original way to express your feelings, but sometimes you're best off reverting to some old favorites instead. To that end, Newsweek has pulled together this list to give you a little inspiration.

Below are some of the most moving poems, quotes and messages to make your partner swoon on Valentine's Day. We've also got separate guides on how to order flowers and selecting the best jewellery gifts.

Love Poems

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Poetry doesn't work for everyone and only you can judge if it will sit right with your own partner. If you are brave enough to recite a few verses in person, or just want something nice to send over a social media message, then here are some possible candidates.

Sonnet 18 — William Shakespeare

You cannot go wrong with the classics. Even if the "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" opening might be a tad cliché at this point, the rest of "Sonnet 18'"is very flattering.

The 14-line poem describes how the beauty of its subject outclasses nature itself, with a focus on how Summer is inconstant and will eventually give way to Fall, while immortal love will never diminish.

The other positive quality of this one is that Shakespeare doesn't get overly specific when praising the qualities of his lover, which means that it can be easily addressed to anybody, regardless of their age, gender, or personality type.

Like all of Shakespeare's works, "Sonnet 18" is in the public domain and so you can easily find the full thing on the internet.

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 14)— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Given that she is one of the Victorian era's most romantic writers (which is really saying something), the oeuvre of Elizabeth Barrett Browning is filled with touching love poems. You could recite almost any of them at random and be guaranteed a teary response from your partner.

We've gone with the iconic "Sonnet 14" here, which is perfect for summing up just how difficult it is to sum up the love you have for a soulmate. You can't possibly express the depth of your emotion in just a handful of lines, but this one does a pretty job.

A short excerpt is available below, but you can find the whole thing online as it predates modern copyright laws.

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.

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i carry your heart with me (i carry it in) E.E. Cummings

This poem is ideal for those in long-distance relationships, or who are just unable to see each other on Valentine's Day itself, as it communicates how your bond is strong enough to overcome physical separation.

The first stanza is especially moving, articulating that you are always together in everything that you ever do, regardless of distance.

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)

If you are wondering about the unusual capitalization here, there are many interpretations for why Cummings (who incidentally has plenty of other romantic quotes for you to use) composed it in this way. One theory is that it helps deemphasize the author's sense of individuality, seeing as he is now defining himself as part of an inseparable duo.

You can find the entire piece on the Poetry Foundation website.

She Walks in Beauty Lord Byron

Ignoring the fact that it was actually written about his cousin's wife, Lord Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" is an eloquent ode to the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual beauty of its subject.

It's especially relevant if you are in the early stage of a relationship and still find the other person to be exciting and mysterious. You can read the full thing on the Poetry Foundation website, but we've also included a little snippet below.

All that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

The First Day — Christina Rossetti

"The First Day" is a poem that can be used to reminisce about the day you first met, particularly if it was long ago or if the encounter seemed inconsequential at the time.

Rossetti laments how she does not have a photographic memory and cannot remember all of the specifics of this fateful encounter. She wishes that she could describe the weather, the time of day, the season and what it felt like to first touch her lover's hand, but these details all elude her.

This piece is perfect for those who have been with their partner for a while and want to indulge in nostalgia, but it is also tinged with a hint of melancholy so just be careful how you use it.

"The First Day" is available to read on the Poetry Foundation website.

Poem to First Love Matthew Yeager

Should the above be too old-fashioned and flowery for your taste, then "Poem to First Love" is a more contemporary alternative.

It's all about young courtship and how amazing it is to fall head over heels for somebody who and to, against all odds, have those feelings be reciprocated. If the complex metaphors, iambic pentameters, and archaic language of the other entries on this list wouldn't feel genuine coming from your lips, then this might be a better fit.

Here's a quick excerpt:

To have met you at all and then
to have been told in your soft young voice so soon
after meeting you: "I love you." And I felt the mystery
of being that you, of being a you and being
loved, and what I was, instantly, was someone
who could be told "I love you" by someone like you.

You can read the full thing on poets.org.

Idle Dreams Joanna Fuchs

Short but sweet, Joanna Fuchs' "Idle Dreams" describes what it is like to find your perfect match and win their affection.

In idle dreams of long ago,
I imagined my true love;
A perfect match, a soulmate,
An angel from above.
Now you're here, and now I know
Our love will stay and thrive and grow.

Fuchs has quite a few of these simple and concise love poems that are perfect for texting to your partner on Valentine's Day. An entire page of them is hosted on poemsource.com.

Romantic Quotes for Valentine's Day

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If a full poem isn't really your style, then you might also want to consider sending one of the following quotes from literature, movies and music.

  • "The very instant that I saw you did my heart fly to your service" – William Shakespeare (The Tempest, Act III, scene i)
  • "I will miss you always, even in the moments when you are right beside me"- Tyler Knott Gregson
  • "If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever." – Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • "I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life."- Ian McEwan (Atonement)
  • "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." – A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)
  • "You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known — and even that is an understatement." – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Letter to his wife Zelda)
  • "I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had." - Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
  • "Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere." - Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. (The Shape of Water)
  • "You're my sunshine on a cloudy day" – paraphrasing The Temptations ('My Girl')

Romantic Wishes and Messages for Valentine's Day

Of course, you can just go with a basic Valentine's Day greeting. If you're struggling to come up with anything more than the simple "I Love You", try one of the below messages. To make it extra personal, you might want to add in a pet name that you have for your partner.

  • You're my everything
  • I love us
  • One day a year isn't enough to tell you how much I care
  • Thank you for being you
  • I love you more than you could ever know
  • My heart belongs to you
  • I'm so lucky to have you
  • Every day with you is an adventure
  • You're just as beautiful as when we first met
  • You give me butterflies every day
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Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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