Friday, August 22, 2008

Poetry for Weddings

Today I marry my friend,
The one I have laughed with and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support,
Encourage and give myself to,
Through all the days given us to share.
Today I marry the one I love.

Love is the Reason
Love is the reason why this day
Was chosen by you both
To begin your lives together –

And love is the reason why you both
Will give with all your hearts
For the good of each other.

Love is the reason
That together you will become one –
One in hope,
One in believing in life, and
One in sharing the coming year

The Lost is Found - Traditional Hawaiian Love Poem
Here all seeking is over,
The lost has been found,
A mate has been found
To share the chills of winter –
Now love asks
That you be united.
Here is a place to rest,
A place to sleep,
A place in heaven.
Now two are becoming one,
The black night is scattered,
The eastern sky grows bright.
At last the great day has come!

A Marriage By Michael Blumenthal
You are holding up a ceiling
With both arms. It is very heavy,
But you must hold it up, or else
It will fall down on you.
Your arms are tired, terribly tired,
And, as the day goes on, it feels
As if either your arms or the ceiling
Will soon collapse.

But then,
Something wonderful happens:
A man or a woman,
Walks into the room
And holds their arms up
To the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
The blood flowing back
To your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
You hold up your own
To relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
For many years
Without the house falling.

Destiny by Edwin Arnold
Somewhere there waits in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul,
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life’s long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

See Clearly by Lao Tzu, 6th century B.C.
Your love is a great mystery.
It is like an eternal lake
Whose waters are always still and clear like glass.
Looking into it you can see
The truth about your life.

It is like a deep well
Whose waters are cool and pure.
Drinking from it you can be reborn.

You do not have to stir the waters
Or dig the well.
Merely see yourself clearly
And drink deeply.

Egyptian Song #1 Translation of ancient Egyptian love song
from the New Kingdom

Your love dear man, is as lovely to me
As sweet soothing oil to the limbs of the restless
As clean ritual robes to the flesh of gods,
As fragrance of incense to one coming home hot from the smells of the street.

It is like blackberries ripe in the hand
Like the tang of grainmeal mingled with beer,
Like wine to the palate when taken with white bread.
While unhurried days come and go,
Let us turn to each other in quiet affection, walk in peace to the edge of old age.
And I shall be with you each unhurried day.

Egyptian Song #2

This love is as good as oil and honey to the throat,
As linen to the body, as incense to worshippers when they enter in,
As the little seal-ring to my finger.
It is like a ripe pear in a man’s hand,
It is like the dates we mix with wine,
It is like the seeds the baker adds to bread.
We will be together even when old age comes.
And the days in between
Will be food set before us, dates and honey, bread and wine.

Two friends decided to journey together towards a common destination.
Before they began their journey they shared their expectations as follows:

There will be days my friend,
When one will want to walk along the mountain path,
Whilst the other may prefer the valley,
But we will come together at the end of the day
And share our experiences.

There will be days when one will want to sing and dance,
Whilst the other will prefer to travel in quietness,
So we will choose different paths,
But we will meet at the close of the day and be content with our experiences.

There will be days when one may want to rest,
Whist the other may want to move further along the path,
But at the right time we will come together
And be happy that each has fulfilled their own needs.

There will be days when we shall travel together as one.

If we can respect the other’s need whilst still fulfilling our own,
Then our journey will be an experience to rejoice in.

Sooner or Later - Anonymous
Sooner or later we begin to understand
that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies.
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.
For love is the creator of our favorite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams.
Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.
And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all - one known only by those who love.

The Art of a Good Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.It is never going to sleep angry.
It is never taking the other for granted;the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner,it is being the right partner."

I Love You by Roy Croft
I love you,
Not only for what you are
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you, not only for what
you have made of yourself
but for what
you are making of me.

I love you, for the part of me
that you bring out;
I love you,
for putting your hand into my…heart
and passing over
all the foolish, weak things
that you can’t help
dimly seeing there,
and for drawing out
into the light
all the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked
quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
are helping me to make
of the lumber of my life
not a tavern
but a temple;
out of works
of my every day
not a reproach
but a song.

Prothalamion for an Autumn Wedding by Mary Sappho.
How pure the hearts of lovers as they walk

Through the rich quiet fields
Where the stiff wheat grows heavy on the stalk
And over barley and its paler golds
The air is bright-

They do not even walk yet hand in hand,
But every sense is pricked alive so sharp
That life breathes through them from the burning land
And they could use the wind itself for harp,
And oh, to drink the light!

Now all around them earth moves toward an end,
The gold turning to bronze, the barley tasseled,
The fruit stored up, and soon the sheaves will bend
Their heads together in the rich wedding-bed
All are about to enter.

The hearts of lovers as they walk, how pure;
How cool wind upon the open palm
As they move on toward harvest, and so sure
Even this ripening has a marvelous calm And a still center.

A Little Weird -- Author Unknown

We are all a little weird,
and life's a little weird,
and when we find someone
whose weirdness is compatible with ours,
we join up with that person
and fall in mutual weirdness,
and call it love.

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman
If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.

If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.

I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we'll be together,
And I will be here.

If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.

As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.

I will be here,
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We'll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I've made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

The Country of Marriage by Wendel Berry 

Sometimes our life reminds me 
Of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing 
and in that opening a house, 
An orchard and garden, 
Comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to. 
The forest is mostly dark, its way 
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed 
provided we stay brave 
enough to keep on going in. 

The Privileged Lovers by Jalal al-Din Rumi 

The moon has become a dancer 
at this festival of love. 
This dance of light,
This sacred blessing, 
This divine love, 
beckons us 
to a world beyond 
only lovers can see 
with their eyes of fiery passion. 
 They are the chosen ones 
who have surrendered. 
Once they were particles of light 
now they are the radiant sun. 
They have left behind 
the world of deceitful games. 
They are the privileged lovers 
who create a new world 
with their eyes of fiery passion 

Sooner or Later  -Author Unknown

Sooner or later we begin to understand 
that love is more than verses on valentines, 
and romance in the movies. 
We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, 
the most important thing in our lives.
For love is the creator of our favorite memories 
and the foundation of our fondest dreams.

Love is a promise that is always kept, 
a fortune that can never be spent, 
a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. 
And this radiance that never fades, 
this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all –  
one known only by those  who love. 

All My Youth Returns by Jalal al-Din Rumi

The unimaginable,
the unknowable---
that is what you give my soul
when it moves in your direction.
Union is the pure wine.
My life is the cup
without your wine
   what use is the cup?
I once had a thousand desires
but in my one desire to know you
   all else melted away.

The pure essence of your being
   has taken over my heart and soul.

Now there is no second or third,
   only the sound of your sweet cry.

Through your grace I have found
   a treasure within myself.

I have found the truth of the Unseen world.
I have come upon the eternal ecstasy.
I have gone beyond the ravages of time.
I have become one with you!

Now my heart sings.

From Resignation by Nikki Giovanni

I love you
Because the Earth turns round the sun
Because the North wind blows north
Because the Pope is Catholic
And most Rabbis Jewish
Because winters flow into springs
And the air clears after a storm
Because only my love for you
Despite the charms of gravity
Keeps me from falling off this earth
Into another dimension
I love you
Because it is the natural order of things

An Uncommon Love  By Terah Cox

May you have the love only two can know
May you go where only two alone may go 
May the sun rise and set in your bonded hearts and the moon never find you too long apart
May you cherish each other's dreams as your own and turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones
May you brave life's mountains and miles together
May there be no storm your love cannot weather 
May you always be lovers and allies and friends
May you souls' conversation never end
May you capture on earth what’s in heaven above 
May your hearts know the rapture of an uncommon love. 

From the great Cuban poet Jose Mari:

Love is born
With the pleasure of looking at each other,
It is fed
With the necessity of seeing each other,
It is concluded with the impossibility
Of ever being apart.

A Marriage by Mark Twain

A marriage ---
makes of two fractional lives a whole,
gives to two purposeless lives a work,
and doubles the strength of each to perform it;

it gives it two questioning natures
a reason for living and something to live for;

it will give a new gladness to the sunshine,
a new fragrance to the flowers,
a new beauty to the earth,
and a new mystery to life.

Why Marriage? By Mari Nichols

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body .
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me .

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone I feel blessed to hold .

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love, in friendship .

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements .
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole.

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage .

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

Fidelity by D.H. Lawrence
Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man's heart and a woman's,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos
of love.

I Would Know You Anywhere  Author Unknown  

(Wonderful as part of a ring vow)

I would know you anywhere
I've come to tell you that I've found you again
So wear the circle of my love 
As we begin to continue what's always been there.
Of everything that glitters
Among all we have and hold
Don't think that I don't recognize
You here among the gold

Sometimes cares are many
Love helps to keep them small
The world might spin you round until you
hardly recognize yourself at all

I don't know much of living
And I don't know how to die
and I surely don't know how I got so blessed
to have you by my wedded side.
But I would know you anywhere.
And Now You´re Mine by Pablo Neruda

And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now. 
The night turns on its invisible wheels, 
And you are pure beside me as a sleeping ember.
No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
We will go together, over the waters of time. 
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
Only you, ever green, ever sun, ever moon.
Your hands have already opened their delicate fists 
And let their soft drifting signs drop away; 
Your eyes closed like two gray wings, and I move 
After, following the folding water you carry, that carries
Me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny.
Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.   

I Do -  Author Unknown

His hello was the end of her endings 
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle 
His hand would be hers to hold forever 
His forever was as simple as her smile 
He said she was what was missing 
She said instantly she knew 
She was a question to be answered 
And his answer was “I do.” 

(This would be nice read by two mothers or two fathers alternately) 
We Who Love You 

Your parents, we who love you, 
have looked on in joy, recognizing 
that in your desire to create a future together 
you have discovered and have fostered 
one another’s most endearing and enduring qualities. 

The love we have for you is all embracing, 
joyful, to see you turn toward one another’s light. 
Certain that you will tenderly support each other, 
aware that patience as much as passion 
will nourish and maintain the bond between you. 
Certain also, that with care and courage 
you will create a haven where each may grow and flourish
as do all things in nature, given light and warmth. 

We who watched over your childhood innocence 
with the most profound longing 
to keep you from all hurt or harm, 
no longer yearn toward that gift 
which is not ours to give, 
for we have learned that adversity 
brings its own gifts of strength and of compassion. 
As you set out upon the path
which we have traveled, we stand beside you 
with every confidence in your resilience and strength. 

As we once cradled you in strong young arms 
We hold you now, as strongly, sweetly, in our hearts. 
How very proud of you we are. 
Know that you have our blessing, 
As you know you have our love. 

What Greater Thing Is There  by George Eliot

What greater thing is there 
For two human souls
Than to feel that they are joined together
To strengthen each other in all sorrow
To share with each other in all gladness
To be one with each other
In the silent, unspeakable memories.

Litany  by Billy Collins 

You are the bread and the knife, 
the crystal goblet and the wine. 
You are the dew on the morning grass 
and the burning wheel of the sun. 
You are the white apron of the baker 
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight. 
However, you are not the wind in the orchard, 
the plums on the counter, 
or the house of cards. 
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air. 
There is just no way you are the pine-scented air. 
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge, 
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head, 
but you are not even close 
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk. 
And a quick look in the mirror will show 
that you are neither the boots in the corner 
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse. 
It might interest you to know, 
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world, 
that I am the sound of rain on the roof. 
I also happen to be the shooting star, 
the evening paper blowing down an alley, 
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table. 
I am also the moon in the trees 
and the blind woman's tea cup. 
But don't worry, I am not the bread and the knife. 
You are still the bread and the knife. 
You will always be the bread and the knife, 
not to mention the crystal goblet and-somehow- the wine.

The Life That I Have by Leo Marks
(From Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding)

The life that I have 
Is all that I have 
And the life that I have 
Is yours 

The love that I have 
Of the life that I have 
Is yours and yours and yours. 

A sleep I shall have 
A rest I shall have 
Yet death will be but a pause 
For the peace of my years 
In the long green grass 
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Two Trees by Janet Miles

A portion of your soul has been
entwined with mine
A gentle kind of togetherness, while
separately we stand.
As two trees deeply rooted in
separate plots of ground,
While their topmost branches
come together,
Forming a miracle of lace
against the heavens.

By Tsu Yeh, Tsin Dynasty, A.D. 265-316

you not see
That you and I
Are as the branches of one tree?
With your rejoicing
Comes my laughter;
With your sadness
Start my tears.
Could life be otherwise
With you and me?

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