Occasional Poems

Sometimes as a poet you get asked to write poems for special occasions. Most often for weddings. It seems that weddings (and funerals) are when people turn to poetry. Even if they don’t want something written specifically for them they often track down favorites that they’ve bookmarked over the years. I love the gesture of using whatever your skill or talent is to make a day special for your loved ones – music, paintings, photography, a great dress, –  poems. Recently a computer programmer friend told me sadly that no one had ever asked him to write them a computer program for their wedding. After a chat we thought there might be a way to change all that.

And I love doing it. It’s hard though. Writing love poems is hard at the best of times. A good one, certainly now a days seems to have to be very personal and then speak to the broader – gone are the Shakespearean or Romantic notions of love – we’re more sophisticated now, more tempered. We’ve seen it all. And how can you best Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove …?

So I think of my own love. What I want to say. Or I think of what I would want to hear at my own wedding. I think about writing against romance, but writing towards something less artifice than that. The friend I’m writing for said to me that she was less interested in the wedding and more interested in the marriage. Marriage, she said, is what seems like the amazing thing.

Now capture that in a poem.

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