Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: The Old-Fashioned Love Letter

With techonology taking over the world, it's easy for declarations of love that used to appear longhand, meticulously scripted on stationery, to become online posts that are here one day, gone the next. Email, IM, Facebook posts or chats - young lovers confess their feelings in this way, this world, more and more often. Almost gone are the days of the handwritten love letter. That's not entirely bad, of course: today's communication is almost instant, so you can tell your love AT ONCE how you feel. But there's something charming about feelings that are committed to paper, in the tradition of years/decades past, right? Take a look at some famous ones:

"I can live only wholly with you or not at all – No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - "(Ludwig von Beethoven)

"You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me - my heart was full when you came here today. Henceforward I am yours for everything." (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

"Dearest, - I wish I had the gift of making rhymes, for methinks there is poetry in my head and heart since I have been in love with you." (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

"I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough. How could I, fool that I am, go on sitting in my office, or here at home, instead of leaping onto a train with my eyes shut and opening them only when I am with you?" (Franz Kafka)


Sigh.

So I will admit, I'm the kind of sentimentalist that kept a few letters from boyfriends past. I dug out a few the other day to reread them, and those lines in faded ink reminded me so much of the girl I was, of the boys who wrote to me, of the way I treasured those awkward (and sometimes corny) lines. A couple of the ones I still love:

"I watch you walk across the room and I realize you are poetry: beauty in motion."

"If you make me wait, I won't mind: the more sand that falls through the hourglass, the bigger a sandcastle I will build you with it."

"Telling me to resist you is like telling me to live without the sunrise in the morning, warmth in the winter or water in the desert."

Ah, love letters...words from the hearts written down in black and white to be cherished always. Anyone have a stash from their past? Anyone still write them to their loved ones?

1 comment:

JL Walters said...

Love letters. I did receive one from my husband many years ago. He's a doctor and I had to wait until he returned from vacation before i knew what he had said.