In the age of Twitter and text messages what does it feel like to receive an old-fashioned love letter?
I imagine a curly headed man in his thirties, opening Elizabeth Barrett’s ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ and catching his breath as he reads the first lines of Sonnet #33:
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.
Robert Browning was a vigorous worldly man. The writer of the sonnets, Elizabeth Barrett, was a secluded sickly woman six years older. It was the 1840s. Still reader, he married her!
Move Someone’s Heart
It’s amazing what words can do. So move someone’s heart this week. Write a love letter today. Here’s how:
1. Begin by yourself.
Get in the mood. Snuggle up in an armchair, sit under a tree in your favourite park, go for a walk down that alley the two of you always take as a short cut. Whatever, be comfortable. Feel thankful, oh so thankful.
2. Close your eyes and think about your loved one.
What’s the best time you had together? What’s that irritating thing he does which you’d missed most if he were gone? What have you been wanting to tell her for the last 3 delirious months? Be open. Be brave.
3. Free Write.
Now, free write for fifteen to thirty minutes.
4. Don’t look.
Afterward, don’t look at what you’ve written. Just save your work and leave it for a day.
5. With heart in mouth, prepare to send…
When you’re almost ready, go back and do a quick edit. Don’t second guess yourself. You want your words to be quick and true.
Get your words set out on good stationery. If you can still remember the copper plate you learnt in grade school, use handwriting. But if all you can manage is an illegible scrawl, then use your printer.
Then, Fold it into a pretty envelope and send. Or better still delivery it personally, hand to hand, face to face.
Have you ever written a love letter? Tell us the story.
There are still a few days left to make your love letter perfect before Valentine’s day. And if you’re brave enough, share your love letter here in the comments section.