May 7, 2015

Happy Mother's Day: So you want to write your wife a love poem?

by Andilyn Jenkins

Or a love letter or a collection of love notes in a mason jar. Have no fear. With Mother’s Day upon us, many of you may be wondering what to get your lover that doesn’t break the bank but that she will treasure forever. Search no more. I’ll make you all poets in 5 easy steps.

Also, note that children, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, fathers, etc. may just as easily follow this tutorial.

1. Observe and take notes.

This is the most difficult step for some because it requires that you put on some serious magnifying glasses. Log away moments, mannerisms, facial expressions, or acts of kindness from your wife that you witness. These should be things you notice about your wife that make you smile or just make you glad that she’s yours.

Be specific. And try to note the things that are unique to your wife only. 

Lots of women could be . . .
a) beautiful
b) good mothers
c) amazing cooks.

But only your wife . . .
a) has a scar under her eye that wrinkles when she smiles.
b) rolls down the hills at the park with your children.
c) bakes the cookies so they stay gooey in the center.

2. After you have a collection of moments, select a theme, and start writing.

What is your love poem about? Find a “because” statement and then answer it using the poem. Here are a few samples (you're welcome to use one):

I married you because . . .
You are pretty/beautiful/sexy/cute because . . .
You make me smile because . . .
You’re a terrific mother because . . .
I miss you when you’re gone because . . .
I like to hold you because . . .
I fell in love with you because . . .

After this step, you should have a rough-draft, bullet-point list that looks something like my list I wrote for Aaron.

3. Show, don’t tell.

So in this example: “You are beautiful,” you are telling her what she is. You’ve done this before. She knows you think that. Instead, show her what you see—you’d be amazed what she doesn’t see. A revised version might be something like this: “I love your dark curls and blue eyes swirled with grey.”

4. Organize.

You have your list, now look for common threads among them, and put those list items together in your final poem. 

5. Revise

Poetry is all about SHOWing and making sure every word holds its weight. Don’t be afraid to edit!

If you want to make a mason jar, skip step four and write the “because” statement on the mason jar (ex. I love you because . . .). Then fill the jar with each bullet point on its own slip of paper. And, hey, get the kids involved! Each person could have different-colored paper slips, so Mom knows who said what. Possibilities are endless.

And if you're near Mesa, top off your poem or mason jar with a plate of soft, homemade sugar cookies. Check out my Facebook page for more information on prices and how to win a free BIG sugar cookie. Pick up your cookies any time Saturday, May 9th. You won't regret it.

Good luck, poets! And Happy Mother's Day!

Post your questions, ideas, and/or poems in the comments section below. I would LOVE to help you revise or just applaud you for a job well-done.


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