A week ago, I had the great honor of reading “i carry your heart” by Cummings during my best friend’s wedding ceremony. By the time I got to the last line, I was hoping that my mascara was as waterproof as my makeup artist promised it was. I couldn’t even look at her, because I knew we would both burst into tears.
That particular poem has been a favorite of hers since she was ten years old. She always imagined that was what real love was; the secret no one knows keeping the stars apart. She’s read the same poem countless times, and has always loved it. It’s grown with her from childhood, to college—where we met while studying poetry—to the beginning of her marriage. I know it will continue to have rich meaning for her as she and her new husband build their life together.
Poetry is about connection. A poem has weight. It can evoke intense feelings with few words, and the more emotion it arouses in you, the more you love it. This is why poetry is so appropriate for weddings, and why there’s such a long relationship between the two, dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks and their epithalamiums.
So, as APW’s resident poetry nerd, I’m currently putting together some wedding poetry roundups, but in the meantime, I want to know: what poems are special to you? What are you considering including in your ceremony? What poems speak to you about love, relationships, and life? Share some inspiration in the comments!
Photo: Kara Schultz