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It’s pretty difficult to avoid writing something tacky for Valentine’s Day. Especially because this is a couples blog, it’s extra difficult. I was at loss for what to write this week that wouldn’t be totally lame. Obviously as you can tell from the title, I went with books, which hopefully isn’t too annoying.
I thought of doing a fashion post with cute v-day outfits, but everything I own is either out of season or thrifted, so that’s obv not helpful for you. My other ideas for posts sounded mega lame and Connor advised me to do something else. So, here we are.
If you don’t like books, this post probably isn’t for you.. but maybe you’re feeling a little sexy this v-day, so perhaps our BDSM on a Budget post is more of your cup of tea.
Starting with some Lang Leav. I love Lang Leav. I have her other book “Lullabies” as well, but it’s one of the burried books hidden in my closet. I adore the simplicity of her poems, but also how powerful they are. Of course, some are greater than others. A few poems are a bit too simple – but I’m sure someone would say that about my poetry as well. Not every poem is about love in these books, but a vast majority are. Here are some of my favorites.
“Soul Mates” I don’t know how you are so familiar to me—or why it feels less like I am getting to know you and more as though I am remembering who you are. How every smile, every whisper brings me closer to the impossible conclusion that I have known you before, I have loved you before—in another time, a different place—some other existence. – Lang Leav, Memories
“The Lonliest Place” I believe there is penance in yearning. There is poverty in giving away too much of your heart. When the desire for another is not returned in equal measure—nothing in the world could compensate for the shortfall. Sometimes the lonliest place to be is in love. – Lang Leav, The Universe of Us
“After All” I felt you again in my sleep last night. Like always my dreams of you are peripheral. An overheard conversation where your name is mentioned; a letter in my hand I try desperately to read before I wake. A Styrofoam coffee cup and half-read book on an empty table where I knew you were just minutes before. It’s as though my dreams are a mirror of my waking world, like finding myself walking down the street where I could have sworn I caught a glimpse of you, only to look again and realize it wasn’t you after all. – Lang Leav, Sea of Strangers
More poetry books on poetry books. Can you tell I like them?
Okay, these are my favorites, ever. Especially iwrotethisforyou by Iain Thomas. This particular book found me in a time when I was going through an extremely bad break up with the person I was with for five years. Yes, it found me. I was in a bookstore browsing and I stumbled upon it. It’s dark cover just jumped out to me. I read this book numerous times. I even took one specific poem that I liked and wrote it everywhere: journals, sticky notes, chalk boards… I wanted to read it every day. The poem is, “I made myself from all the love you no longer wanted.” – Iain Thomas, iwrotethisforyou
Whenever I introduce this book to someone, I joke and say, “this book saved me,” but in some ways, I think it did.
All of the poems in these books are short, sweet, and also cut like a knife. They’re so powerful. These poets are truly some of my favorites and I find myself returning to their work very very often.
Tyler Knott Gregson is such a phenominal being. If you ever get the chance to find the recordings he made reading his own poetry… Ugh. I need Tyler Knott Gregson reading poetry to me 12 hours a day seven days a week. His voice is like a soothing shea butter you want to rub all over your skin. I can’t.
My favorite poem in his book Chasers of the Light is:
Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet is exactly what it sounds like. His poems are a little cute, a little sexy, & all very powerful. My response to this book was similar to iwrotethisforyou. I dog-earred my favorite poems, double-dog-earred my super favorites, and took one particular poem and plastered it everywhere: “Lost is a lovely place to find yourself.” – Michael Faudet
Okay, F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite author, ever. Of all time. Most people know him for The Great Gatsby which is an excellent piece, but my favorites are The Beautiful & Damned and Tender is the Night. Picking a favorite between the two is difficult, but I’d claim Tender as my top favorite #1 book any day.
Fitzgerald’s writing is so beautiful. The way he strings words together is the most talented and beautiful wording I’ve ever read. I feel connected to him when I read his work. Which is why reading the letters he and his wife wrote to each other in Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda melted my heart. They are mostly Zelda’s letters to Scott, as his letters to her burned in the fire that set flames to the institution she was living in, but it’s all beautiful nonetheless. I have had an intense passion and infatuation for Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald for years. I don’t need to go too much into it for the purpose of this post.
Instead, I’ll just post some of my favorite quotes from each text so you can see why he’s my favorite.
“As he held her and tasted her, and as she curved in further and further toward him, with her own lips, new to herself, drowned and engulfed in love, yet solaced and triumphant, he was thankful to have an existence at all, if only as a reflection in her wet eyes.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
“I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am to-night.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
“… mother says that two souls are sometimes created together and–and in love before they’re born.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful & Damned
“A woman should be able to kiss a man beautifully and romantically without any desire to be either his wife or his mistress.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful & Damned
“… the only sadness is the living without you, without hearing the notes of your voice with its particular intimacies of inflection. You and I have been happy; we haven’t been happy just once, we’ve been happy a thousand times.” – Letter from Scott Fitzgerald to Zelda, April 26 1934
“… and when I see how handsome you are my stomach will fall with many unpleasant emotions like a cake with too many raisins and I will want to shut you up in a closet like a dress too beautiful to wear.” – Letter from Zelda Fitzgerald to Scott, November 26 1931
On Love by Alain de Botton. Another book I love. It’s something I like to call “philosophy for dummies.” I’m the dummy. I like the dumbed down, pop-culture styled philosophical teachings. Here’s some quotes.
“Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but Do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test. Do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only the things I will have for ever?” – Alain de Botton
“The arrogance of wanting to be loved had emerged only now it was unreciprocated—I was left alone with my desire, defenseless, beyond the law, shockingly crude in my demands: Love me! And for what reason? I had only the usual paltry, insufficient excuse: Because I love you . .” – Alain de Botton
“Every fall into love involves the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. We fall in love hoping we won’t find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one and decide that everything within it will somehow be free of our faults. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through our union with the beloved, hope to maintain (against the evidence of all self-knowledge) a precarious faith in our species.” – Alain de Botton
A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes. Another book I love. The idea is that there are different languages for love. Here are some quotes.
“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is “I desire you,” and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure. ” – Roland Barthes
“Am I in love? – yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.” – Roland Barthes
Aaaaaand finally, I can’t not put my book, Bittersweet, on this list. I wrote this out of pure heartbreak. It began as posting poems on my Tumblr account, but quickly turned into a book when I received positive feedback from my followers asking for more. It’s not a book about heartbreak, nor a book about love. It’s a book that examines what it’s like when someone doesn’t love you anymore and you need to learn to love yourself. Here are some of my favorites that I wrote:
“‘There are a lot of lonely words to say, but the lonliest of all is “stay.”‘ – Emma Hill, Bittersweet
Come to me in all of your disheveled sorrows
And with that the weight of every burden
Oppressing your already tender heart,
For I will not let go of your hand.
Come to me in all of your exhaustion
From using every last bit of strength
To hold your head high;
Here, you may rest.
Come to me in all of your remorse,
Show every shameful bruise that blackens your skin;
I will turn on a light to show you
That your silhouette is still the most beautiful.
There’s no need to run when you feel your heartbeat.
My dear, loving you has been bittersweet.
-Emma Hill, Bittersweet
Do I need to cite myself? I bought my own copyright. Idk, gonna anyway. Friendly reminder that my book is available on amazon and I linked it above. I’d so love to hear any feedback you have on it. My favorite thing is when people message me telling me their favorite poem I wrote!
Anyway, these are some of my favorite books and stories about love. Happy Valentines Day <3 xx
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