A common misconception that is widely followed when writing love poems or just poetry in general is the forcing of rhyme. Rhyme does not need to be incorporated in poetry. In fact, poetry is much better when it isn’t so sing-song like. I have to admit that it is tempting when writing poetry to just start rhyming every verse. However, when you are finished and you read the poem back, it sounds more like a nursery rhyme than a poem. A poem is a conveying of emotion through images, metaphors, diction, syntax, and other such devices. All of those devices should be organic to the speaker.
When I write poetry, whether it is about love or another subject, I always try to make sure the images or language I am using is home to me. Poems hit the hardest when they are organic. If a poem is being written strictly for a lover and only for the lover to see, then it is important to stray away from cliche language. When I say cliche, I mean lines like “your eyes sparkle like a beautiful ocean.” Lines that are cheesy like that might make your lover smile, but will hardly make them cry tears of joy. Instead try to implement something in the poem that is organic to your own relationship. If there is some quirky inside joke you two have then put that in the poem. If there is a special memory that the two of you share (i.e. a vacation, first meeting, first date, etc.) then recreate that situation in the poem. It will trigger the nostalgia in your lover and the results can only be good.
Whether you are writing a poem strictly for your lover or writing them for intent of publication, not a lot changes when using love as an inspiration. Either way, the poems need to be natural. If you want to connect features of your lover into the poem, stay away from connecting them to abstract images of the world, (i.e. oceans, forests, skies). As I discussed before, describing a lover’s eyes as the ocean has been done before. Nobody wants to read that anymore because it takes absolutely zero creativity to construct a verse like that.
Instead, tie a feature of your lover to a specific situation that the lover can relate to from personal experience. “Your eyes, shiny and big, like the young children you held in the villages of Honduras.” Obviously not everyone has had an experience such as tiny villages in Honduras, but you get it. Use something that is unique to you two and only you two. I promise, whether you are writing for only your lovers eyes to see, or if you are seriously attempting to construct poetry, write with a unique eye; try to think of the little things hatched in your memory from happy times; don’t settle for passive verbs, let the words be exciting and jump off the page.
If you follow these simple tips your poem will turn out better than you imagined. The poem will truly resemble a careful, thought-out approach, and not some flattering lines that you tried stringing together.