Selected Poems

5 Best Poems About Touch For Every Loving Couple Out There

Last Updated: December 25, 2022

Touch plays a crucial role in every loving relationship. Generally speaking, people feel more satisfied when physical affection is a significant part of their relationships.

The touch of love is indeed powerful, and that is why many poets bring it into their poems. In this article, we’re going to look at some of those. Without further ado, here are 5 of the best poems about touch.

1. One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII is a beautifully written expression of love that is characterized by its deep, emotional intensity and its focus not only on the intangible qualities of love but also on the physical attributes. Pablo Neruda conveys their love for the person they are addressing in a way that is deeply personal and intimate, expressing their love as something that is hidden and private, yet also incredibly strong and enduring.

2. A Touch by Rose McLarney

liquor scenting the whole
cocktail. What intoxication

we afford each other
cannot be excess or impure.

Rose McLarney is an American poet who often explores themes of place, family, and the natural world, and is marked by a sense of lyricism and musicality. Born and raised in a rural mountainous area outside of Asheville, North Carolina, McLarney’s poetry is deeply rooted in the landscapes and communities of the region.

A Touch by Rose McLarney is a poem that explores the theme of human connection and the desire for physical touch. The poem begins with the speaker longing for a touch from someone else then reflects on many ways in which touch can be comforting and healing, and how it can bring people closer together. It ends with the speaker exemplifying that there is nothing excessive or impure that may detract from the lovely and pure moment between the significant others.

3. Touch and Go by Sylvia Plath

How all their play is touch-and-go:
But, Go! they cry, and the swing
Arcs up to the tall tree tip;
Go! and the merry-go-round
Hauls them round with it.

Sylvia Plath was a well-known American poet and novelist who is known for her confessional poetry and her exploration of themes of identity, depression, and mental illness. Plath’s work often deals with themes of identity, particularly the experience of being a woman in a patriarchal society, and the struggles of mental problems.

In the poem Touch and Go, the author contrasts the steadfastness of the statues with the fleeting play of children in the park, who twirl and spin on swings and merry-go-rounds without stopping to understand the fragile nature of time. The phrase “touch and go” means a risky or serious circumstance, which is also contrary to the enjoyment of the present moments and longing for love in the life of innocent children.

4. My True Love Hath My Heart by Sir Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

By just exchange one for the other given:

I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;

Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet and courtier who is known for his contributions to Renaissance literature and for his role in the Elizabethan court. Sidney is best known for his poetry, which includes sonnets, odes, and other forms. Some of his most famous poems include “Astrophel and Stella,” a long poem that tells the story of a love affair, and “The Defense of Poesy,” a treatise on the value of literature.

In My True Love Hath My Heart, the author discusses dejection and love, converting from a relaxed to a joyful tone. The speaker asserts that their true love holds their heart and that they are completely devoted to them. The poem is full of imagery and metaphors about tender touch that conveys the speaker’s intense love and devotion.

5. The Touch by Anne Sexton

For months my hand was sealed off
in a tin box. Nothing was there but the subway railings.

The Touch exemplifies what distinguishes Sexton from other poets of her time: bravery. The poem explores the theme of physical touch and the power it has to convey emotion and connection. Through each line, she emotionally disrobes, revealing her bare psyche. The poems all include diction that implies an intense tone, and the atmosphere created by the language Sexton chooses is simultaneously grotesque and intriguing.

In the poem, Anne Sexton personifies unique objects like a dismembered limb, to emphasize the lack of humanity and the sense of sadness she felt in the absence of love and affection from a significant other. The poem seems to explore the impact of isolation on the body and the mind, and the longing for connection and touch.

6. Sonnet IX from Astrophil and Stella by Sir Philip Sidney

Queen Virtue’s court, which some call Stella ‘s face,
Prepared by Nature’s chiefest furniture,

While Astrophil and Stella is a tale about a man’s desire for a married lady, its true message resides in the way the protagonist rejected himself and turned his affection for Stella toward God. Furthermore, as the love of the Petrarchan lover, Astrophil’s love for Stella is more than a mere physical sense.

Sonnet IX from Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella begins with Astrophel declaring that love has given him the strength to endure any hardship, overcome any obstacle, and the courage to dare the worst. The speaker compares themselves to a straw, humbly acknowledging their own insignificance in the presence of such beauty. Sir Philip Sidney also highlights the power of her beauty and her voice to affect and impact people, even without physical interaction.

Final thoughts

So that’s some of the best poems about touch out there. A lover’s touch can be a very powerful thing. If you’re in love, know that you’re lucky and enjoy it. Here are some more poems you can read if you’re still in the mood for poetry:

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