Date Night: Poetry Reading
Poetry is words put to rhythm. Those words paint pictures, tell stories, evoke feelings, and pose questions. Poetry communicates what words alone cannot. Authoring a poem from the depths of your own heart is a wonderful experience, but it is equally extraordinary to find someone elseís words singing your own heartís song. Sharing your favorite poem with the one you love can be a deeply intimate experience.
If you donít think poetry is for you, think again. Poetry is written and appreciated by every kind of person. You will find roughneck poets, poetry written by Presidents of the United States, victims of violence, soldiers, housewives, spiritual leaders, starving youth living on the streets, and people just like you. Even for the reluctant and the too busy, your perfect poem is out there waiting to be found and written on your heart.
Poetry Readings at Home
When planning a poetry date night for the two of you at home, keep your eyes open for good material. Poetry is everywhere. Find it online, on your friendsí book shelves, in the stores, on lobby side tables, at the library, and quite possibly, in your own notebooks. This sort of date might easily become a regular thing you do together, so it might be fun to surprise your partner the first time you do it, but you could also give them a heads up so they can join in the search for material.
Find your favorites.
Collect a box of poetry books a week or so before your date night to prepare. Try to get books from varying genres to give you and your date a nice buffet to feast your minds on. The day of, pick up your date night essentials. Bookmarks and notepads are great to have handy for marking pages and writing down thoughts to share. Comfy pillows and blankets are also a nice touch. Snacks like tea and cake or wine and cheese set a romantic tone for a poetry reading.
Light some good-smelling candles and a fire if the evening is chilly. Set the books out on the floor or a coffee table along with the refreshments and pillows. Invite your partner to join you in looking through books. When either of you finds one that attracts you, share it with your partner right then or bookmark it for a more formal ďreading.Ē If you choose the latter, wait until you both have a few bookmarked to share and then take turns reading them aloud and discuss your reactions.
A Themed Poetry Night
Choose a new or interesting genre to explore with your love. Gather books by a particular author or written in a specific time period, about a particular subject like nature or relationships, poetry from a certain corner of the world, or strictly local poetry, erotic, humorous, or romantic. Each of you can choose one or more poems to go through, deciphering their meaning as a team and discussing your responses. This themed poetry night can easily be turned into a fun tradition by choosing a different genre for each time you do it. Each of you can have fun looking for books to share or searching the internet for poetry that fits.
Write Your Own
Writing your own poetry can be a great way to dive into the art. You can choose a specific subject (like your feelings for each other, a poem about your childhood pet, or a description of something in the room, anything you like) to write about and have fun sharing your creations after working on them for a short while.
If that doesnít ring your bell, consider a collectively written piece. Poems can be written in free form, where there is no set rhythm or length restrictions, but still read with a musical beat. Sometimes, it's fun to create poetry within the rigid guidelines of a haiku or adjective poem, though. It is challenging, but it can be really funny and very thought provoking as well. Try working together to make guidelines for your poetry, like only using one syllable words or only verbs! See the rules for a few common types of poetry here.
Poetry Readings Out of the House
Attending a public reading and making your date more of a social experience is a great way to change up your usual routine of "going out." Another romantic way to experience a poetry reading is to take it outdoors. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking outside of the box, or outside your home.
Summer Day Poetry Readings
Pack books of poetry along with a picnic into a bag and set out for a nature walk or hike. When you arrive at your destination, be it under a big oak tree, next to a waterfall, on a park bench, or full circle back to the hood of your car, youíve got the poetry reading date in your bag! If itís a surprise and the books were of your choosing (as opposed to your partner bringing poetry they wanted to share), a fun way to warm things up is to just flip to a page, any page, and read it aloud. Switch books with your partner if you want to, and keep going in this fashion unless either of you want to take the time to look through a book to find one that is special to you.
Host a Coupleís Reading
Choose any of the above ideas, but invite other couples you know to join in the fun. Create poetry-themed eVites or create your own invitations with a short poem to get your guests thinking about poetry before they come. Just like any other coupleís activity, make sure you keep your partner first on your priority list. Find little ways to romance them throughout the evening and boost their ego every chance you get!
Public Poetry Readings
Book stores and libraries are common places for public poetry readings. They may be open mic style where anyone can get up and read poetry from their favorite authors or ones they have written themselves. They also host readings by famous poets whose books they showcase. Benefits, universities, restaurants, night clubs and private events are other venues that often feature poetry readings.
Find just the right event for you. You might like the formal atmosphere of a black tie benefit or you might prefer a more casual environment of a pub or small book store. Make a night of it with dinner and a romantic walk and be sure to bring home a souvenir of your first poetry reading together.
Whichever way you plan this special date night, you are sure to have a new hobby by the time it is over. Get ready to fall in love with poetry and find a brand new way to express your love to each other. It might be writing your own poems or it might be finding the words of othersí that speak your heart.