Learn a few lessons from these masters.
"I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge yu [sic] with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die. I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to yourself that you had never even dreamed of such transports … When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours, I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them."
— From Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet, 1846
"My Own Boy,
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; but go to Salisbury first.
Always, with undying love,
— From Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas, 1893
"No, Milen, I beg you once again to invent another possibility for my writing to you. You mustn't go to the post office in vain, even your little postman — who is he? — mustn’t do it, nor should even the postmistress be asked unnecessarily.
If you can find no other possibility, then one must put up with it, but at least make a little effort to find one.
Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.
Remembering that one extinguished fire with clothing, I took an old coat and beat you with it.
But again the transmutations began and it went so far that you were no longer even there, instead it was I who was on fire and it was also I who beat the fire with the coat.
But the beating didn’t help and it only confirmed my old fear that such things can’t extinguish a fire.
In the meantime, however, the fire brigade arrived and somehow you were saved.
But you were different from before, spectral, as though drawn with chalk against the dark, and you fell, lifeless or perhaps having fainted from joy at having been saved, into my arms.
But here too the uncertainty of trans mutability entered, perhaps it was I who fell into someone’s arms."
— From Franz Kafka to Milen Jesensk, 1921
"Look Here Vita — throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come."
— From Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West, 1927
"There would have been the making of an accomplished flirt in me, because my lucidity shows me each move of the game – but that, in the same instant, a reaction of contempt makes me sweep all the counters off the board and cry out: – “Take them all – I don’t want to win – I want to lose everything to you!”
— From Edith Wharton to W. Morton Fullerton, 1908
So now I’m going out on the boat with Paxthe and Don Andres and Gregorio and stay out all day and then come in and will be sure there will be letters or a letter. And maybe there will be. If there aren’t I’ll be a sad s.o.a.b. But you know how you handle that of course? You last through until the next morning. I suppose I’d better figure on there being nothing until tomorrow night and then it won’t be so bad tonight.
Please write me Pickle. If it were a job you had to do you’d do it. It’s tough as hell without you and I’m doing it straight but I miss you so [I] could die. If anything happened to you I’d die the way an animal will die in the Zoo if something happens to his mate.
Much love my dearest Mary and know I’m not impatient. I’m just desperate.
— Ernest Hemingway to Mary Welsh, April 16, 1945
"6 July, morning
My angel, my all, my own self — only a few words today, and that too with pencil (with yours) — only till tomorrow is my lodging definitely fixed. What abominable waste of time in such things — why this deep grief, where necessity speaks?
Can our love persist otherwise than through sacrifices, than by not demanding everything? Canst thou change it, that thou are not entirely mine, I not entirely thine? Oh, God, look into beautiful Nature and compose your mind to the inevitable. Love demands everything and is quite right, so it is for me with you, for you with me — only you forget so easily, that I must live for you and for me — were we quite united, you would notice this painful feeling as little as I should …
… We shall probably soon meet, even today I cannot communicate my remarks to you, which during these days I made about my life — were our hearts close together, I should probably not make any such remarks. My bosom is full, to tell you much — there are moments when I find that speech is nothing at all. Brighten up — remain my true and only treasure, my all, as I to you. The rest the gods must send, what must be for us and shall.
— Ludwig van Beethoven to his "Immortal Beloved," 1812
"Diego, my love,
Remember that once you finish the fresco we will be together forever once and for all, without arguments or anything, only to love one another.
Behave yourself and do everything that Emmy Lou tells you.
I adore you more than ever. Your girl, Frida
— From Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera
happiness is within you….so unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow—
like the sweet flower you are…..
I know the answer—
Just spread your wings and set yourself
Love to you forever
— From Jimi Hendrix to a girlfriend knows as "little girl"
That’s really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well.
The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.
— From Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash
"Frances! I am so lonely I can hardly bear it. As one needs happiness so have I needed love; that is the deepest need of the human spirit. And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love — to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know. How long these hours are alone!
Yet is good for me to know the measure of my love and need, that I may at least be brought to so govern myself as never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.
Dear Frances, let us make and keep our love more beautiful than any love has ever been before.
Forever, dearest one.
— From Rockwell Kent to his wife Frances, 1926.