• KAT-Blad

Language of Love



Happy Valentine’s Day from the KAT Blad team! Love is all around us, in countless different forms. Whether it be romantic, platonic, or something else, it is an important part of our lives. So for all the hopeless romantics who see love in everything, for those who feel love in so many different ways, and those who love languages; this blog is for you!


We’ve compiled some of our favourite poems about love and language, just for you! Some show the romantic love we’re so used to seeing in literature and media, and some take a more abstract look at it. We have also tried to find poems from different languages, to give you a feel of how love might feel in a different language!


We would love to hear about your favourite poems as well, regardless of the topic or language. So feel free to respond in the comment section below or reach out on our social media. Maybe we will post some of our favourites on our Instagram!


So let’s enjoy the day of love and spread this love to as many people as possible!


With much love,

The KAT Blad Team <3


1. Magic tumbled from her pretty lips and when she spoke the language of the universe - the stars sighed in unison


- Michael Faudet


2. When a man is in love

How can he use old words?

Should a woman desiring her lover

Lie down with grammarians and linguists?


And so I said nothing

To the woman I adore

I packed my words in a suitcase

And fled from all language


- Nizar Qabbani (translated from Arabic by Paul Weinfield)


3. i am learning

how to say “strong”

in different languages

for if i ever forget

the sound of this word

in my own languages

those words

could remind me

there are more

words

chances

worlds

where mine

ends


- Noor Unnahar (yesterday i was the moon)


4. A Noun Sentence

A noun sentence, no verb

to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed

after making love... a salty perfume

or a sour one. A noun sentence: my wounded joy

like the sunset at your strange windows.

My flower green like the phoenix. My heart exceeding

my need, hesitant between two doors:

entry a joke, and exit

a labyrinth. Where is my shadow—my guide amid

the crowdedness on the road to judgment day? And I

as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall,

chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity

toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows. Wishing

for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me

or ahead of me, barefoot. Where

is my second road to the staircase of expanse? Where

is futility? Where is the road to the road?

And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present

tense, where are we? Our talk a predicate

and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam

of speech the dots on the letters,

wishing for the present tense a foothold

on the pavement…


- Mahmoud Darwish (The Butterfly's Burden)

(translated from Arabic by Fady Joudah)


5. Forgotten Language

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,

Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,

Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,

And shared a conversation with the housefly

in my bed.

Once I heard and answered all the questions

of the crickets,

And joined the crying of each falling dying

flake of snow,

Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .

How did it go?

How did it go?


- Shel Silverstein


6. “I want…”

I want to write you words

That are unlike any wording,

To invent a language for you alone

To tailor it to the size of your body,

To the breadth of my love.


I want to journey away from the leafed-through dictionary,

To take leave of my mouth.

For I am tired of going the rounds of my mouth

And want another one

That can change when it chooses

Into a cherry tree

Or a matchbox.

I want a new mouth from which words can emerge

Like white nymphs surging out of the ocean foam

Like white chicks bursting out of a magician's hat.


Take all the books I read in childhood

Take all my grammar-school notebooks

Take the chalk and the pens and the blackboards

And teach me a new word I can hear

And hang like an earring on my lover's ear.


I want other fingers

To write another way.

For I hate fingers that are not too long or too short

As I hate trees that neither die nor grow.

I want new fingers

Raised high as ship-masts

Long as a giraffe's neck

So I can tailor a poetry-garment for my love

That she never wore before me.


I want to fashion you an alphabet

Different from all the alphabets,

Comprising rhythms of the rain,

The dust of the moon

The sadness of grey clouds

And the aching of the willow-leaves

Breaking beneath September's carriage wheels.


- Nizar Qabbani (translated from Arabic by A. Z. Foreman)

(Letter #1 of “A Hundred Love Letters”)


7. Love’s language

How does Love speak?

In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,

And in the pallor that succeeds it; by

The quivering lid of an averted eye--

The smile that proves the parent to a sigh

Thus doth Love speak.


How does Love speak?

By the uneven heart-throbs, and the freak

Of bounding pulses that stand still and ache,

While new emotions, like strange barges, make

Along vein-channels their disturbing course;

Still as the dawn, and with the dawn's swift force--

Thus doth Love speak.


How does Love speak?

In the avoidance of that which we seek--

The sudden silence and reserve when near--

The eye that glistens with an unshed tear--

The joy that seems the counterpart of fear,

As the alarmed heart leaps in the breast,

And knows, and names, and greets its godlike guest--

Thus doth Love speak.


How does Love speak?

In the proud spirit suddenly grown meek--

The haughty heart grown humble; in the tender

And unnamed light that floods the world with splendor;

In the resemblance which the fond eyes trace

In all fair things to one beloved face;

In the shy touch of hands that thrill and tremble;

In looks and lips that can no more dissemble--

Thus doth Love speak.


How does Love speak?

In the wild words that uttered seem so weak

They shrink ashamed in silence; in the fire

Glance strikes with glance, swift flashing high and higher,

Like lightenings that precede the mighty storm;

In the deep, soulful stillness; in the warm,

Impassioned tide that sweeps through throbbing veins,

Between the shores of keen delights and pains;

In the embrace where madness melts in bliss,

And in the convulsive rapture of a kiss-

Thus doth Love speak.


- Ella Wheeler Wilcox


References

Darwish, M., 2022. A Noun Sentence. [online] Best Poems. Available at: <https://www.best-poems.net/mahmoud_darwish/a_noun_sentence.html> [Accessed 13 February 2022].


Faudet, M., 2022. A quote by Michael Faudet. [online] Goodreads.com. Available at: <https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8211497-magic-tumbled-from-her-pretty-lips-and-when-she-spoke> [Accessed 13 February 2022].


Qabbani, N., 2022. Nizar Qabbani "I want..." (From Arabic). [online] Poemsintranslation.blogspot.com. Available at: <http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2011/06/nizar-qabbani-i-want-from-arabic.html> [Accessed 13 February 2022].


Silverstein, S., 2022. Forgotten Language - Forgotten Language Poem by Shel Silverstein. [online] Poem Hunter. Available at: <https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/forgotten-language-2/> [Accessed 13 February 2022].


Unnahar, N. (2018). Yesterday I Was the Moon. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony.


Weinfield, P., 2022. Nizar Qabbani: “Language”. [online] Paul Weinfield: Translations. Available at: <https://paulweinfieldtranslations.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/nizar-qabbani-language/> [Accessed 13 February 2022].


Wilcox, E., 2022. Love's Language - An Ella Wheeler Wilcox Poem. [online] Ellawheelerwilcox.org. Available at: <http://www.ellawheelerwilcox.org/poems/plovesla.htm> [Accessed 13 February 2022].

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