History’s Greatest Love Letters

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. A socially-sanctioned opportunity to consume all of the chocolate I want, guilt-free? Yes please! For those of you with a more romantic take on the holiday, however, I’ll share with you excerpts from some of the most beautiful love notes throughout history, composed of sentiments even sweeter than all-you-can-eat chocolate.

Ludwig von Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”

After his death in 1827, a love letter was found among Beethoven’s possessions. The object of his devotion was never identified by name, only by the moniker “Immortal Beloved.” Long distance lovers will be able to identify with Beethoven’s distress at being separated from his love:

“Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the lands of spirits. Yes unhappily it must be so. You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart – never – never – Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.”

Beethoven love letter

Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas

Although Wilde was married and had two sons, he engaged in a passionate affair with Douglas, even nursing him back to health when he fell ill with influenza. His love letters are just as poetic and beautiful as you would expect from the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray:

“Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing. Your slim gilt soul walks between passion and poetry. I know Hyacinthus, whom Apollo loved so madly, was you in Greek days. Why are you alone in London, and when do you go to Salisbury? Do go there to cool your hands in the grey twilight of Gothic things, and come here whenever you like. It is a lovely place and lacks only you.”

Oscar Wilde Love Letter

Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

Kahlo and her mentor Rivera were married in 1929. Their marriage was marked by heated arguments, affairs, and jealousy, and they divorced ten years later. Despite their troubles, they couldn’t stay apart, and remarried in 1940. A love letter that demonstrates Kahlo’s ability to paint with words as well as she did with her paintbrush sheds some light on their powerful bond:

“Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.”

 Frida Kahlo Love Letter

I encourage you to grab a pencil and compose a love letter to someone you love this Valentine’s Day. If you are without a significant other, I would recommend you write your mother, your best friend, or your cat instead. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Pencils.com!

1 reply
  1. Sean
    Sean says:

    “It is better to have loved and lost, then to never have loved at all.” I have heard it philosophized, if one could go back into the past and forgo all knowledge and experience for the sake of “wiping the slate clean” would you? Personally I would give a firm no. Despite all I’ve experienced I believe that ignorance isn’t genuine bliss. It seems somewhat of a farce to my eyes. I’d would rather have experienced what I have, and learned what I have and have become better because of it, and having what determines genuine fulfillment. Instead of just blithely living life as a mindless combination of cells. And I believe the same rings true with love. While Valentine’s Day is basically a commercialized way to make money off of couples. I think there are many people out there who view it as a special day out of the year to celebrate those they care about. Love, like many things, really worth it out there, “is complicated.” And to the discerning eye is always worth pursuing in one way or another.

    Reply

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