February has the distinction of being named International Correspondence Writing Month (InCoWriMo) and being the month of St. Valentine’s Day. So, what better opportunity to take a look at some of the greatest love letters ever written, than today’s pre-Valentine’s Writing Wednesday?
In the past, we have suggested some ways to pen your own romantic letters, but if you prefer to get your inspiration from real-life examples, look no further! Here are five of our favourite love notes written by some of the greatest writers of all time.
1) Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) to Olivia Louise Langdon
Hartford, Nov. 27/88.
Livy Darling, I am grateful — grate-fuller than ever before — that you were born, & that your love is mine & our two lives woven & melded together!
2) Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas
My Own Boy,
Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days. Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place and lacks only you; but go to Salisbury first.
Always, with undying love,
Source: University of Missouri’s “The Trials of Oscar Wilde”
3) Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash
That’s really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well.
The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.
Source: Fast Company Design
4) Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo
There can be no happiness greater than that I enjoyed this afternoon with you, clasped in your arms, your voice mingling with mine, your eyes in mine, your heart upon my heart, our very souls welded together. For me, there is no man on this earth but you. The others I perceive only through your love. I enjoy nothing without you. You are the prism through which the sunshine, the green landscape, and life itself, appear to me. That is why I am idle, dejected, and indifferent, when you are not by my side. I do not know how to employ either my body or my soul, away from you. I only come to life again in your presence. I need your kisses upon my lips, your love in my soul.
Source: Juliette Drouet’s Love-Letters to Victor Hugo by Louis Guimbaud and Juliette Drouet. Read it all at Project Gutenberg.
5) Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera
Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days…
Bonus: The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning
For Valentine’s Day 2012 we took an in-depth look at the romantic correspondence between these prominent Victorian-era poets. Check it out here!