Poetry, Wedding Vows and Gift Ideas for Loved Ones


I got a lovely surprise today when I discovered that Diana Maus at With All My Heart Art had dedicated a new piece of art to me as a thank you for the piece I wrote about  exploring the senses in our writing, especially the often underappreciated sense of smell. By discovering our preferred representational system and exploring our underused senses, we can expand our life and improve our creativity. Here’s what Diana wrote over at her blog Mosaic Moods:

[Janice] asks the question “How can you discover what your sensory preferences are?” Good question. It led me to look for my biases towards one sense over another and I noticed that the olfactory is ignored in my art and my writing. So here’s a garden for you, Janice, with hope “that the spices thereof may flow out” and spread throughout these pages.

If you know of anyone who’s looking for a unique wedding gift or a special gift for a loved one, an engagement or a wedding anniversary, this would be very special.

Talking of weddings, I often spookily cross posts with Sean Platt , a gifted ghostwriter from over at Ghostwriter Dad .  His post today was about wedding vows. My post was simply going to be dedicated to all the spouses and partners out there who support us while we blog; the dancers, the writers, those who’ve recently lost jobs, those who are scared they may lose the jobs that keep the roof over our heads, those who risk their lives for others, our best editors, our best friends and most patient listeners, lovers and friends.

The poems here are beautiful and can be used anytime, as wedding vows or in anniversary cards, blog posts or presents. Sean, on the other hand, can craft the most beautiful unique wedding vows  for you or someone you know. This is what Sean promises:

Your custom wedding vows will be good enough to hang on the wall and remember forever. I will write beautiful prose, perfectly placed between a beginning and end that is guaranteed to fill your wedding aisles with weeping. You are a custom couple, you deserve to exchange a custom promise.

Someone, somewhere, would love to have their unique wedding vows framed in one of Diana’s frames! I don’t  really understand Twitter, but if you do, please retweet this post, Sean’s or Diana’s to celebrate and support unique artistry and help people we actually know to make their living online.

Here are the simple poems that were going to form my post today, as a gift for my husband, the person I’m happy, relieved and grateful to have sharing the journey with me. The first is by one of my favourite Scottish poets.

The Confirmation by Edwin Muir

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

Sonnet from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

And what of Marriage? from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
Together you shall be for evermore.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

And here’s the quote that has kept our marriage strong for nearly a quarter of a century:

Love does not consist of looking into each other’s eyes, but in gazing together in the same direction. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery


  1. You’re welcome. I can’t think of anyone else better suited to give voice to people’s love on their special day, to turn it into poetry for them to treasure. I know your family’s flower business has morphed, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the florists in your city carried a flyer for your customised wedding vows service! Not just wedding vows, but anniversaries, engagements, births, and all sorts of meaningful occasions that cry out for poetic prose. Have you ever seen the ‘advert’ Randi’s done for you through her blogroll?

    And I agree; Diana’s work is beautiful. Weird how everything just came together in my inbox today!

  2. @Positively Present,
    I’m glad. I love passing things forward, hoping that some small thing will help or heal, inspire creativity or put a smile on someone’s face.

  3. This is a timely post with weddings around the corner. Diana’s work is beautiful and personalized. A great visual of an abundance of creativity. Thank you also for the props for Sean’s gift of prose. His words worked for me and he has many years under his belt consulting with brides to be about flowers and such. With all my heart I enjoy your words.

    Cindy´s last blog post..Mothers Who…

  4. Thank you, Cindy! It stuns me how willing many people are to leave all the words of their most treasured days up to a jaded official or a church minister who doesn’t even consult with them personally about what’s going to be said, then to a best man or bridesmaid or relative at the meal afterwards.

    And it’s a joy to promote your work and Sean’s. That’s all I can do from over here. If I was over there, there are so many more practical ways we could help each other out with the kids and ‘careers’.

    Hope you enjoy the weddings!

  5. Thank you Janice for the link to my Passion Garden Frame. Thanks Cindy and Writer Dad, for the compliments. I didn’t know Writer Dad wrote wedding vows, that shows how observant I am. I know I’ve been to your site. What a rewarding job that must be!

    Here is my favorite love poem of all time:

    HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

    W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
    “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”

    Diana Maus´s last blog post..My Heart Art prints, cards, calendars & Tshirts

  6. Love back to you for sharing these beautiful love poems — and congrats for having such a successful marriage. I lost my husband twelve years ago. The Gibran poem reminds me how much I miss him. Love may be the most worthy topic.

    Brenda´s last blog post..7th Grade

  7. Diana~
    That one nearly made it in yesterday, too! I love it! One of the first things my husband and I discovered we had in common was a love of Yeats.

    And thank you again for the dedication and for letting me use a photo of your frame. I hope the post helped in some way.

    Brenda~ Thank you for sharing with us. I’m so sorry about your husband; the pain never really goes away, does it. It just changes. I’m very grateful that you like what I’m doing here. My main aim is to ensure that people are glad they came, whatever they might find from one day to the next. There are so many blogs out there, it makes me truly appreciate every single person who reads mine.

  8. Tweeted!

    I completely agree we should support the very talented people we know, who are trying to make a living online.

    Another great way is to link to these people with the appropriate anchor text (“ghost writer” for writer dad, for example) to help people find them through searches.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..A Rose Garden

  9. Lovely to see you , Vered, and thank you for tweeting! (For those of you who haven’t visited Vered’s MomGrind blog, there are some gorgeous photos of roses there at the moment! )

    I’m afraid I’m not sure how to do anchor text in a blog post but I’d appreciate a comment here or an email to explain how I can do it. Sean tried to explain once, but I’m not sure if I completely understood. Do you mean simply making sure that the best possible words for SEO appear next to the link? Would it help in the above post, for example, if I inserted ‘ghostwriter’? “Sean, [a gifted ghostwriter] on the other hand, can craft the most beautiful unique wedding vows for you or someone you know. This is what Sean promises:”

    Does it also make sense, then, to put people’s surnames too? Thanks for this, Vered; I’ll add Sean and Diana’s surnames above just in case.

  10. I know what you mean. Synchronicity expanded this post today, but originally, I just wanted to share these poems to make people’s hearts sigh.

  11. I so agree with you, Janice, that obedience is a choice and a gift. Some who write for the site understand obedience as something that a man can demand from his wife-and I suppose he can-but for me it is definitely a gift I’ve chosen to give. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can just take back the gift if I want to. As long as my husband is worthy of my obedience, then I shall try my best to give it to him. By “worthy” I use the criteria from the New Testament that a man should love his wife the “way that Christ loves the church.” That’s a high calling that most men just don’t meet! How fortunate we both are that we’ve been married to men who have proven their love and devotion to us over many, many years! Prom

    1. Thank you for the lovely sonnet you shared with us and for sharing your views here, too. Obedience wasn’t mentioned in my post or my marriage vows, but if it’s something you’ve given your husband willingly and you are both as happy as my husband I are, then I’m truly happy for you.

  12. At our wedding, my brother read a Shakespeare sonnet that I loved:

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove.

    O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    I liked it because it made us think about our vows of staying committed to each other over time, regardless of how we age and change, and also because of the line about a marriage of true minds.

  13. Thank you – these are really inspiring words. I absolutely adore Irish Wedding Blessings – here is two of my absolute favorites :

    May God be with you and bless you
    May you see your children’s children
    May you be poor in misfortune
    Rich in blessings
    May you know nothing but happiness
    From this day forward.

    May your grass always be green
    May your skies forever blue
    May God Bless the Irish
    And may God bless you!

    I have some more beautiful Irish Wedding Blessing at http://www.weddingspeechesandtoasts.net that I’m sure you’ll find inspiring and romantic!

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