Sick of being sick with love? Wishing you could smite the smitten? Love to hate on love? We hear you. Instead of sharing our favorite lovesick, starry-eyed sonnets and stanzas, we’ve rounded up our favorite anti-love poems to provide a little un-Cupid inspiration this Valentine’s Day. From breakup poems to “screw you” poems, you’ll find every form of love-hate in these poems. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to try your hand at your own anti-Valentine ode.
1. Margaret Atwood’s “You Fit Into Me“
You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
2. Kevin Young’s Slow Drag Blues
I don’t believe in sex
My wife does, just
not with me.
3. Marina Tsvetaeva’s “An Attempt at Jealousy”
How is your life with that other,
you, my own.
Is the breakfast delicious?
(If you get sick, don’t blame me!)
How is it, living with a postcard?
You who stood on Sinai.
4. Beth Ann Connely’s “Poem Not to be Read at Your Wedding”
You ask me for a poem about love
in place of a wedding present, trying to save me
money. For three nights I’ve lain
under the glow-in-the-dark-stars I’ve stuck to the ceiling
over my bed. I’ve listened to the songs
of the galaxy. Well, Carmen, I would rather
give you your third set of steak knives
than tell you what I know.
5. BJ Ward’s Cuckoldom
Untruth in her
the language, sullied
a certain conjugation:
how she lied
as she lay with me.
monogamy was too
close to monotony.
6. Dorothy Parker’s “Men”
They hail you as their morning star
Because you are the way you are.
If you return the sentiment,
They’ll try to make you different;
And once they have you, safe and sound,
They want to change you all around.
7. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s “What Isn’t Mine”
Let us rut through the sum
Of who we were,
Or will be in the years to come:
Who used to be in love.
8. Laetitia Pilkington’s “A Song: Strephon, your breach of faith and trust”
Strephon, your breach of faith and trust
Affords me no surprise;
A man who grateful was, or just,
Might make my wonder rise.
9. Audre Lorde’s “Movement Song”
Do not remember me
nor as the keeper of secrets
I am a fellow rider in the cattle cars
you move slowly out of my bed
saying we cannot waste time
Which poems did we miss? Let us know your favorite anti-love poems in the comments below.