Another poetry/readings thread.

We are having our blessing this sunday and having written one ceremony for our main wedding day, we are now find ourselves writting a second. Although we have a bit more help this time from the rabbi that will be taking it! Phew..

So , I have been looking through readings and poems again, one of my favourite part of the wedding planning and was just wondering....

A) What readings you had/will be having in your ceremony

B) what others made the shortlist and you would have included if you could.

C) If there are any other poems/ passages you know that you've come across and thought that they would be wonderful for a wedding!

It's just an excuse to create another thread filled with beautiful words really!

Much love x


  • SkipulaSkipula Posts: 1,763
    A poem that always stuck in my head was the one that was used in the film "Carve Her Name With Pride". The film was based on the true story of a World War II special ops agent, Violette Szabo. Agents sent to France used poems as code and Violette's, according to the film version, was written by her French husband, Etienne. He was killed in action which prompted Violette to join SOE.

    In the real life version the poem was actually written by Leo Marks who was in charge of all the SOE codes and cyphers. Oh poo, it's not romantic after all! Then you do some research and find that he wrote it after he'd learnt of the death of his fiancee. So it's romantic and sad image

    The life that I have

    Is all that I have

    And the life that I have

    Is yours

    The love that I have

    Of the life that I have

    Is yours and yours and yours

    A sleep I shall have

    A rest I shall have

    Yet death will be but a pause

    For the peace of my years

    In the long green grass

    Will be yours and yours

    and yours

  • EtherealBrideEtherealBride Posts: 1,418
    We're (probably) having Dance me to the end of love- by Leonard Cohen- rubbish as a song- great as a poem!

    Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin

    Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in

    Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove

    Dance me to the end of love

    Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone

    Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon

    Show me slowly what I only know the limits of

    Dance me to the end of love

    Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on

    Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long

    We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above

    Dance me to the end of love

    Dance me to the children who are asking to be born

    Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn

    Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn

    Dance me to the end of love

    Not sure about another one yet....even if we'll have another one so I'd appreciate some inspiration! I love The Sun Rising by John Donne:

    BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,

    Why dost thou thus,

    Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?

    Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ?

    Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide

    Late school-boys and sour prentices,

    Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,

    Call country ants to harvest offices ;

    Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,

    Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

    Thy beams so reverend, and strong

    Why shouldst thou think ?

    I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,

    But that I would not lose her sight so long.

    If her eyes have not blinded thine,

    Look, and to-morrow late tell me,

    Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine

    Be where thou left'st them, or lie here with me.

    Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,

    And thou shalt hear, "All here in one bed lay."

    She's all states, and all princes I ;

    Nothing else is ;

    Princes do but play us ; compared to this,

    All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.

    Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,

    In that the world's contracted thus ;

    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be

    To warm the world, that's done in warming us.

    Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;

    This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.

    H2b is *supposed* to be finding our second this space....

  • EtherealBrideEtherealBride Posts: 1,418

    [Modified by: Binkyzoso on August 19, 2008 03:49 PM]

  • NaomeiNaomei Posts: 2,273
    Hi Lula! My connection seems to be super slow so here are my thoughts...

    I want to have this poem at our ceremony and it will probably be read by my youngest brother. I love e.e.cummings and although I feel slightly miffed that they used it in In Her Shoes (romcom starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette), actually that film did remind me a bit of me and my sister, so I suppose it's quite apt.

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done

    by only me is your doing,my darling)

    i fear

    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows

    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

    I absolutely love that poem and it makes me feel quite emotional when I read it, so I'm trying not to read it too much as I still want it to mean something when it's read!

    I think another one we might have is a bit more whimsical. But I said to J we are a bit like the owl and the pussycat (esp the way it works with our surnames, but nobody will get that!) so I was thinking we could have the kiddies recite that (the poem is by Edward Lear). Esp as the eldest nephew, who is a bit of a performer (you should see his animal impressions; they're his party piece!) was disappointed about not being a pageboy. I'll have to think about it but I think the other guests would love it.

    The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

    In a beautiful pea green boat,

    They took some honey, and plenty of money,

    Wrapped up in a five pound note.

    The Owl looked up to the stars above,

    And sang to a small guitar,

    'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,

    What a beautiful Pussy you are,

    You are,

    You are!

    What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

    Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!

    How charmingly sweet you sing!

    O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

    But what shall we do for a ring?'

    They sailed away, for a year and a day,

    To the land where the Bong-tree grows

    And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

    With a ring at the end of his nose,

    His nose,

    His nose,

    With a ring at the end of his nose.

    'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

    Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'

    So they took it away, and were married next day

    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

    They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

    They danced by the light of the moon,

    The moon,

    The moon,

    They danced by the light of the moon.

    The thing about poems and things is that I think there is a danger that something that means a lot to you, might be lost on some people (I don't mean because they are too stupid! I mean because it just doesn't resonate with them in the same way.) So I guess I'd be looking for something that is interesting when it is heard. For my part - although I love literature - I am not sure I'm that interested in sitting through really long readings (plus some people mangle them!). I know my brother will do a good job but I'm thinking that two will be enough for us, especially as we'll have all the italian stuff as well.

    One reading I've always loved is 1 Corinthians 13 - the passage on love. Even though I am not religious I was brought up Catholic and went to a CofE school for 9 years, so I have an appreciation of the Bible (even if I think it is not exactly factual!). I do love that passage - although I can never decide which translation sounds best. I think maybe the New International Version is the most familiar/easiest to read (I was a fan of the NKJV as I think it sounds more 'serious' but I think in this case the NIV is best).

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    Actually it is more about the love of God, but I kind of think of it more about love in general... and its redemptive qualities. If we were having a religious ceremony, it would be in there.

    I also like this one too and am not sure whether we might have this:

    A Poem by Walt Whitman

    Listen, I will be honest with you

    I do not offer the old smooth prizes

    But offer rough new prizes

    These are the days that must happen to you:

    You shall not heap up what is called riches,

    You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.

    However sweet the laid up stores,

    However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.

    However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.

    However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,

    You are permitted to receive it but a little while Afoot and lighthearted,

    take to the open road

    Healthy, free, the world before you the long brown path before you,

    leading wherever you choose. Say only to one another:

    Camerado, I give you my hand!

    I give you my love more precious than money;

    I give you myself before preaching and law:

    Will you give me yourself?

    Will you come travel with me?

    Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

    I also like this one, but it's a bit dark (probably more for a card or something - I see our wedding as a bit more lighthearted - not that it's not a serious commitment, you understand! image )

    I do not love you... by Pablo Neruda

    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms

    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

    so I love you because I know no other way

    that this: where I does not exist, nor you,

    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    I also love the reading from The Velveteen Rabbit and am wondering how we can incorporate that. But I'm not sure how much kiddy storybook stuff we could have without it sounding a bit silly. Also the bit about vibrating bits always seems to set off my (immature!) friends, and I just love the passage so it would probably upset me if they all started laughing.

    From "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

    "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

    "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

    "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

    "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

    "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

    "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

    Umm, that's all for now! :\)
  • nadiaeuknadiaeuk Posts: 696
    oh i'm really struggling with this one. We're not an outwardly romantic couple and a lot of the deep and meaningful stuff is liable to make me snigger (sad i know)

    so i'm watching this space to see what you clever clever people come up with.
  • Lula_sweetpeaLula_sweetpea Posts: 1,401

    I always loved that poem, so simple and such a profound sentiment. Didn't know the story behind it of that it was used in a film. Would work as a vow or after the ring exchange.

    Binky, I love that song-have you heard the Madeline Peyroux version? Much cheerier than Leonard's...Hard not to be! but that's what we love him for!

    And would also love to know what your h2b comes up with! We each had a poem that we chose and was read on our behalf as it was imporatant that he was happy with the readings and that they connected with him also.

  • lrbpielrbpie Posts: 2,280
    Ok, here is my shortlist (or rather, LONG list)... I tend to like poems or readings with non-flowery language...

    (1) A MARRIAGE

    By Michael Blumenthal

    You are holding up a ceiling

    with both arms. It is very heavy,

    but you must hold it up, or else

    it will fall down on you. Your arms

    are tired, terribly tired,

    and, as the day goes on, it feels

    as if either your arms or the ceiling

    will soon collapse.

    But then,


    something wonderful happens:


    a man or a woman,

    walks into the room

    and holds their arms up

    to the ceiling beside you.

    So you finally get

    to take down your arms.

    You feel the relief of respite,

    the blood flowing back

    to your fingers and arms.

    And when your partner's arms tire,

    you hold up your own

    to relieve him again.

    And it can go on like this

    for many years

    without the house falling.

    (This is very appropriate, since we got home on the day we got engaged to find our ceiling had fallen in...)

    (2) I RELY ON YOU

    I rely on you

    I rely on you

    like a Skoda needs suspension

    like the aged need a pension

    like a trampoline needs tension

    like a bungee jump needs apprehension

    I rely on you

    like a camera needs a shutter

    like a gambler needs a flutter

    like a golfer needs a putter

    like a buttered scone involves some butter

    I rely on you

    like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve

    like a hairpin needs a drastic curve

    like an HGV needs endless derv

    like an outside left needs a body swerve

    I rely on you

    like a handyman needs pliers

    like an auctioneer needs buyers

    like a laundromat needs driers

    like The Good Life needed Richard Briers

    I rely on you

    like a water vole needs water

    like a brick outhouse needs mortar

    like a lemming to the slaughter

    Ryan's just Ryan without his daughter

    I rely on you

    Hovis Presley

    (3) Flowers - Wendy Cope

    Some men never think of it.

    You did. You'd come along

    And say you'd nearly brought me flowers

    But something had gone wrong.

    The shop was closed, or you'd had doubts -

    The sort that minds like ours

    Dream up incessantly. You thought

    I might not want your flowers.

    It made me smile and hug you then;

    Now I can only smile,

    But look: the flowers you nearly brought

    Have lasted all this while.

    (I love this... but maybe it's not very wedding-y).

    (4) I like you (excerpts)

    I like you and I know why.

    I like you because you are a good person to like.

    I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special

    And you remember it a long, long time.

    You say, Remember when you told me something special

    And both of us remember

    When I think something is important

    you think it's important too

    We have good ideas

    When I say something funny, you laugh

    I think I'm funny and you think I'm funny too

    If you go away, then I go away too

    or if I stay home, you send me a postcard

    You don't just say Well see you around sometime, bye

    I like you a lot because of that

    If I go away, I send you a postcard too

    And I like you because if we go away together

    And if we are in Grand Central Station

    And if I get lost

    Then you are the one that is yelling for me

    I like you because if I think I am going to throw up

    then you are really sorry

    You don't just pretend you are busy looking at the birdies and all that

    You say, maybe it was something you ate

    You say, the same thing happened to me one time

    And the same thing did

    I like you because because because

    I forget why I like you but I do

    So many reasons

    On the 4th of July I like you because it's the 4th of July

    On the fifth of July, I like you too

    Even if it was the 999th of July

    Even if it was August

    Even if it was way down at the bottom of November

    Even if it was no place particular in January

    I would go on choosing you

    And you would go on choosing me

    Over and over again.

    Sandol Stoddard Warburg

    (5) From "Piccadilly Jim" by PG Wodehouse (possibly more for a speech than for the ceremony)

    "To a girl with your ardent nature some one with whom you can quarrel is an absolute necessity of life. You and I are affinities. Ours will be an ideally happy marriage. You would be miserable if you had to go through life with a human doormat with 'Welcome' written on him. You want some one made of sterner stuff. You want, as it were, a sparring-partner, some one with whom you can quarrel happily with the certain knowledge that he will not curl up in a ball for you to kick, but will be there with the return wallop. I may have my faults--"

    He paused expectantly. Ann remained silent. "No, no!" he went on. "But I am such a man. Brisk give-and-take is the foundation of the happy marriage. Do you remember that beautiful line of Tennyson's--'We fell out, my wife and I'? It always conjures up for me a vision of wonderful domestic happiness. I seem to see us in our old age, you on one side of the radiator, I on the other, warming our old limbs and thinking up snappy stuff to hand to each other--sweethearts still!

    If I were to go out of your life now, you would be miserable. You would have nobody to quarrel with. You would be in the position of the female jaguar of the Indian jungle, who, as you doubtless know, expresses her affection for her mate by biting him shrewdly in the fleshy part of the leg, if she should snap sideways one day and find nothing there."

    (6) From "The Irrational Season" by Madeleine L'Engle

    But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

    To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.

    (7) The Orange

    By Wendy Cope

    At lunchtime I bought a huge orange

    The size of it made us all laugh.

    I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave????????

    They got quarters and I had a half.

    And that orange it made me so happy,

    As ordinary things often do

    Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park

    This is peace and contentment. It's new.

    The rest of the day was quite easy.

    I did all my jobs on my list

    And enjoyed them and had some time over.

    I love you. I'm glad I exist.

    anyway there you go! some variety in there definitely!

  • gindigindi Posts: 1,369
    Oh yay! Well lula, I have to tell you that I wrote 'Love is a special way of feeling' on a postcard when we were in Cornwall and sent it back here to M because he was coming back two days earlier than me (for his stag) so he would have it waiting when he got home. He was really touched and got teary, apparently!

    We are having two readings:

    Touched by Love - Maya Angelou (it's actually called Touched by an angel but I'm going with this title so the registrar lets it through!)

    We, unaccustomed to courage

    exiles from delight

    live coiled in shells of loneliness

    until love leaves its high holy temple

    and comes into our sight

    to liberate us into life.

    Love arrives

    and in its train come ecstasies

    old memories of pleasure

    ancient histories of pain.

    Yet if we are bold,

    love strikes away the chains of fear

    from our souls.

    We are weaned from our timidity

    In the flush of love's light

    we dare be brave

    And suddenly we see

    that love costs all we are

    and will ever be.

    Yet it is only love

    which sets us free.

    On Love - Diane Ackerman, from A Natural History of Love (when I saw this quote, I then ordered the book, which is amazing. I don't like taking readings or excerpts out of context unless I know what the context is!)

    Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful it has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love's spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots stretching deep into dark and mysterious days...The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving and being loved.

    Another one I love is this (it isn't titled):

    May your frfiendship and trust

    endure and strengthen

    through the winter of your lives -

    and may your love

    be renewed

    as surely as the blossoms

    adorn the trees each Spring -

    may your understanding of each other

    grow with your live

    until the wonder

    of each night and day

    becomes a lifetime

    of happiness together -

    It's from 'The Thoughts of Nanushka volume VII - XII' by an Australian poet, Nan Witcomb.

    Nao, I also love that e.e. cummings poem! It was difficult for us to choose just two but I really love the two we have and we both feel they are very apt - both for us and the people reading them.

  • SkipulaSkipula Posts: 1,763
    Irbpie - I like the "I like you" excerpts and it fits us as we're getting married on 4th July and it's his birthday on 5th July.

    Another passage I found on this site (sorry, can't remember whose wedding report I pinched it from) would be nice before the vows:-

    ???????Union??????? by Robert Fulghum

    You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment.

    At some point, you decided to marry.

    From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.

    All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with ???????When we're married??????? and continued with ???????I will and you will and we will???????- those late night talks that included ???????someday??????? and ???????somehow??????? and ???????maybe???????- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

    The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ???????You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.???????

    Look at one another and remember this moment in time.

    Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.

    Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this - is my husband, this - is my wife.

    Another one I pinched from this site - I'm think it was when mrs nonnymouse had posted several she was thinking of - is Maybe, which is a word I use all the time at home image


    Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right one, so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been given.

    Maybe its true that we don't know what we have lost until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we're missing until it arrives.

    Maybe the happiest of people don't have the best of everything, but make the best of everything that comes their way.

    Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.

    Maybe once in a lifetime you find someone who not only touches your heart but also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could be.

    Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

  • I'm actually welling up reading these, they are so beautiful!
  • gindigindi Posts: 1,369
    I know it's tough isn't it! The thing I find amazing is re-reading the Nanushka ones. I have had all her volumes since 1994 (!!!) and when I re-read some of them I'm reminded of people I thought I was in love with... and now realise I wasn't anywhere close. But I like those reminders that what I have now is so much more special and real than anything I thought I had before.

    I also love how personal readings can be; even if it's something you've read or seen before it can be like new when it means something special to *you* (and yours of course!)
  • WitchyAnneWitchyAnne Posts: 849
    Here are the 4 poems we're using (alternating) in our crackers:

    When Our Two Souls Stand

    Up Erect and Strong

    When our two souls stand up erect and strong,

    Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,

    Until the lengthening wings break into fire

    At either curved point,--what bitter wrong

    Can the earth do to us, that we should not long

    Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,

    The angels would press us on and aspire

    To drop some golden orb of perfect song

    Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay

    Rather on earth, Beloved--where the unfit

    Contrarious moods of men recoil away

    And isolate pure spirits, and permit

    A place to stand and love in for a day,

    With darkness and the death-hour rounding it

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    If Thou Must Love Me

    If thou must love me, let it be for naught

    Except for love's sake only. Do not say,

    'I love her for her smile - her look - her way

    Of speaking gently, for a trick of thought

    That falls in well with mine, and certes brought

    A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'

    For these things in themselves, beloved, may

    Be changed, or change for thee - and love, so wrought,

    May be unwrought so. Neither love me for

    Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:

    A creature might forget to weep, who bore

    Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!

    But love me for love's sake, that evermore

    Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Wild Nights!

    Wild nights--wild nights!

    Were I with thee

    Wild nights should be

    Our luxury!

    Futile the winds

    To a heart in port--

    Done with the compass,

    Done with the chart!

    Rowing in Eden--

    Ah, the sea!

    Might I moor, tonight,

    In thee!

    Emily Elizabeth Dickinson


    Because of the light of the moon,

    Silver is found on the moor;

    And because of the light of the sun,

    There is gold on the walls of the poor.

    Because of the light of the stars,

    Planets are found in the stream;

    And because of the light of your eyes

    There is love in the depths of my dream.

    Francis Carlin

    (Saving my vows to share till after the wedding, but they're a religion-free adaptation of the bit from The Book of Ruth)
  • Oooh, we're having Union! Love it love it, it's so us.

    We're also having another Fulghum piece on our order of service...

    'When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love'
  • LKM1985LKM1985 Posts: 795
    :O binky! how can you say it's a rubbish song... I happen to love the melancholic dulcet tones of the great LC!image

    I'm continually changing my mind about my readings - they're such an important part for me and there are so many I love! And possibly even more now!

    But, my favourites currently are:

    E E Cummings

    somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

    any experience,your eyes have their silence:

    in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

    or which i cannot touch because they are too near

    your slightest look will easily unclose me

    though i have closed myself as fingers,

    you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

    (touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

    or if your wish be to close me, i and

    my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,

    as when the heart of this flower imagines

    the snow carefully everywhere descending;

    nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

    the power of your intense fragility:whose texture

    compels me with the color of its countries,

    rendering death and forever with each breathing

    (i do not know what it is about you that closes

    and opens;only something in me understands

    the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

    nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

    the wonderful Bruce Springsteen - If I should fall behind

    We said wed walk together baby come what may

    That come the twilight should we lose our way

    If as were walkin a hand should slip free

    Ill wait for you

    And should I fall behind

    Wait for me

    We swore wed travel darlin side by side

    Wed help each other stay in stride

    But each lovers steps fall so differently

    But Ill wait for you

    And if I should fall behind

    Wait for me

    Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true

    But you and I know what this world can do

    So lets make our steps clear that the other may see

    And Ill wait for you

    If I should fall behind

    Wait for me

    Now theres a beautiful river in the valley ahead

    There neath the oaks bough soon we will be wed

    Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees

    Ill wait for you

    And should I fall behind

    Wait for me

    Darlin Ill wait for you

    Should I fall behind

    Wait for me

    I'd also like the extract from Wuthering Heights, which is my, perhaps, absolute favourite passage in literature. Die hard romantic that I am. "He is more myself than I am... whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same..." etc.

  • Ooo these readings are lovely, We have a while to go yet so have a shortlist of 5, and will hopefully be allowed 2. I think at the minute the 2 favourites are:

    Gift from the Sea

    Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm.

    The web is fashioned of love, yes, but many kinds of love - romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion, and playing through these a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and

    interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts, triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, a knowledge of likes and

    dislikes, of habits and reactions. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. In the years together one recognises the truth of Saint-Exupery's line ???????Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction???????.

    A good relationship has a pattern like a dance built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but swift and free, like a

    country dance of Mozart's. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endless beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging

    arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back - it does not matter which, because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

    When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in

    the ebb and flow of life, of love, or relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

    Extract from Les Miserables

    You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Love for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.

    We've picked these mostly because they contain truths for our relationship and hopefully aren't too slushly. In fact we always wanted readings that reflected the true nature of loving someone day to day rather than romantic ideals (not sure if we have succeeded in the search yet as these things mean different things to different people).

    I did really want a reading from Hermann Hesse as he is my favourite author but he had a rather depressing view of love in many ways. I will however be getting h2b a blank card if possible to write in a quote from him though "If I know what love is, it is because of you.???????
  • WitchyAnneWitchyAnne Posts: 849
    If you like ee cummings and shakespeare, you should check this out:

    It's absolutely lovely!

  • nikolinauknikolinauk Posts: 687
    We haven't decided on our religious reading as yet but I have a few in mind - one of which was in Naocats post.

    The other reading (non-religious) that I really want to have is 'Who will comfort Toffle' by Tove Jansson (moomin creator) Tove Jansson was a swedish speaking finn - like my family and I have asked my godmother to do the reading. I'm just not sure whether she should read it in Swedish or English? If in Swedish then I would have the translation in the order of service and also have the book as our guestbook.

    The story is about a lonely boy called Toffle who is very shy but finds courage and meets a shy girl called Miffle and they live happily ever after. Both Bert and I are quite shy and I guess we were unknowingly lonely in some aspects until we found eachother.
  • Lula_sweetpeaLula_sweetpea Posts: 1,401
    Oh lovely lovely words!

    Mrs Smythe2b I love that last paragraph of Gift from the Sea. That's on my list!

    And Gindi, I love that Nanushka poem-beautiful!

    How sweet to send the Love is a special way' on a postcard - I bet he was teary! You're so cute!

    K was looking at lyrics to 'wouldn't it be nice' the Beach Boys song, not sure we will use them because it would be hard not to sing along, I think!

    Wouldnt it be nice if we were older

    Then we wouldnt have to wait so long

    And wouldnt it be nice to live together

    In the kind of world where we belong

    You know its gonna make it that much better

    When we can say goodnight and stay together

    Wouldnt it be nice if we could wake up

    In the morning when the day is new

    And after having spent the day together

    Hold each other close the whole night through

    Happy times together weve been spending

    I wish that every kiss was neverending

    Wouldnt it be nice

    Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true

    Baby then there wouldnt be a single thing we couldnt do

    We could be married

    And then wed be happy

    Wouldnt it be nice

    You know it seems the more we talk about it

    It only makes it worse to live without it

    But lets talk about it

    Wouldnt it be nice

    And I love this, but can't find out who it's written by.

    Scattered from hands of love like bread for wild birds

    Flung like rainbows of confetti from hands of joy

    Released like drops of warm and living rain

    We shower you with blessings

    May companionship sustain you

    Love be your walking guide

    Joy the bricks that build your house

    Laughter the cement that makes you strong

    Compassion the roof that shelters you

    In its strong and caring arms

    May the path you walk together be the quiet path of harmony

    Respecting each other's differences

    May friends and children gather at your table

    May life be long and, at its human end

    May the gaze that falls each upon the other

    Be still alive with love

    And twinkle yet with laughter

    Health, gladness and love always

    Am also very excited because we're going tp play a fab piece of music that ends Candide called Make your garden grow. It's based on the Voltaire novel.

    The song is incredible and here are the lyrics

    You've been a fool and so have I,

    But come and be my wife.

    And let us try before we die

    To make some sense of life.

    We're neither pure nor wise nor good;

    We'll do the best we know.

    We'll build our house, and chop our wood,

    And make our garden grow.

    I thought the world was sugarcake,

    For so our master said;

    But now I'll teach my hands to bake

    Our loaf of daily bread.

    We're neither pure nor wise nor good;

    We'll do the best we know.

    We'll build our house, and chop our wood,

    And make our garden grow.

    Let dreamers dream what worlds they please;

    Those Edens can't be found.

    The sweetest flowers, the fairest trees

    Are grown in solid ground.

    We're neither pure nor wise nor good;

    We'll do the best we know.

    We'll build our house, and chop our wood,

    And make our garden grow.

  • Lula_sweetpeaLula_sweetpea Posts: 1,401
    Nik, I ADORE the Moomins!!

    Me, K and my friend Zannah went to a special screening of a whole hour of the tv moomin shows from the 80's. It was brill!! We were the only one there with no kids! So funny...

    That is such a fab idea to have Who will comfort Toffle, I love that story!

    Have you read Tove Jansonn's short novel called The Summer Book? it's a delight.
  • nikolinauknikolinauk Posts: 687
    The moomins are great, Bert is reading his first moomin book at the moment and keeps going to bed early just to read it.

    I haven't read the Summer Book but my sisiter has it and she said I could borrow it. I'll be picturing myself at my family's summer house in the Finnish countryside whilst I read - bliss

    A girl and I became close friends after we both shared the heartbreak of our first loves at the same time - 'Wouldn't it be nice' was on our soundtrack that summer as we thought that had perhaps we'd been older we might not have split up with these 2 boys! (teenage minds!) But it is a lovely song with lovely sentiments.
  • ruthemilyruthemily Posts: 13,622
    I really love this one:

    To Love Is Not To Possess

    To love is not to possess,

    To own or imprison,

    Nor to lose one's self in another.

    Love is to join and separate,

    To walk alone and together,

    To find a laughing freedom

    That lonely isolation does not permit.

    It is finally to be able

    To be who we really are

    No longer clinging in childish dependency

    Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,

    It is to be perfectly one's self

    And perfectly joined in permanent commitment

    To another--and to one's inner self.

    Love only endures when it moves like waves,

    Receding and returning gently or passionately,

    Or moving lovingly like the tide

    In the moon's own predictable harmony,

    Because finally, despite a child's scars

    Or an adult's deepest wounds,

    They are openly free to be

    Who they really are--and always secretly were,

    In the very core of their being

    Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

    ~ James Kavanaugh
  • This is the reading we're having - we both loved it.

    Us Two, from the book Now We Are Six - AA Milne

    Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

    There's always Pooh and Me.

    Whatever I do, he wants to do,

    "Where are you going to-day?" says Pooh:

    "Well, that's very odd 'cos I was too.

    Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.

    "Let's go together," says Pooh.

    "What's twice eleven?" I said to Pooh,

    ("Twice what?" said Pooh to Me.)

    "I think it ought to be twenty-two."

    "Just what I think myself says Pooh.

    "It wasn't an easy sum to do,

    But that's what it is," said Pooh, said he.

    "That's what it is," said Pooh.

    "Let's look for dragons," I said to Pooh.

    "Yes, let's," said Pooh to Me

    We crossed the river and found a few -

    "Yes, those are dragons all right," said Pooh.

    "As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.

    That's what they are," said Pooh, said he.

    "That's what they are," said Pooh.

    "Let's frighten the dragons," I said to Pooh.

    "That's right," said Pooh to Me.

    "I'm not afraid," I said to Pooh,

    And I held his paw and I shouted "Shoo!

    Silly old dragons!" - and off they flew.

    "I wasn't afraid," said Pooh, said he,

    "I'm never afraid with you."

    So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,

    There's always Pooh and Me.

    "What would I do?" I said to Pooh,

    "If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,

    It isn't much fun for One, but Two

    Can stick together," says Pooh, says he.

    "That's how it is," says Pooh.

  • Lula_sweetpeaLula_sweetpea Posts: 1,401
    That is so moving Ruth, I love it, especially these lines:

    Love only endures when it moves like waves,

    Receding and returning gently or passionately,

    And Willenhal wench, I've just seen that you're having a teddy bear theme! How perfect to have that read! So sweet.

    There's a gorgeous poem called Amo Ergo Sum by Kathleen Raine

    Because I love

    The sun pours out its rays of living gold

    Pours out its gold and silver on the sea.

    Because I love

    The earth upon her astral spindle winds

    Her ecstasy-producing dance.

    Because I love

    Clouds travel on the winds through wide skies,

    Skies wide and beautiful, blue and deep.

    Because I love

    Wind blows white sails,

    The wind blows over flowers, the sweet wind blows.

    Because I love

    The ferns grow green, and green the grass, and green

    The transparent sunlit trees.

    Because I love

    Larks rise up from the grass

    And all the leaves are full of singing birds.

    Because I love

    The summer air quivers with a thousand wings,

    Myriads of jewelled eyes burn in the light.

    Because I love

    The iridescnt shells upon the sand

    Takes forms as fine and intricate as thought.

    Because I love

    There is an invisible way across the sky,

    Birds travel by that way, the sun and moon

    And all the stars travel that path by night.

    Because I love

    There is a river flowing all night long.

    Because I love

    All night the river flows into my sleep,

    Ten thousand living things are sleeping in my arms,

    And sleeping wake, and flowing are at rest.

    Or moving lovingly like the tide

    In the moon's own predictable harmony,

    And this is a short, funny one, Love Is.. by Adrian Henri.

    Love is...

    Love is feeling cold in the back of vans

    Love is a fanclub with only two fans

    Love is walking holding paintstained hands

    Love is.

    Love is fish and chips on winter nights

    Love is blankets full of strange delights

    Love is when you don't put out the light

    Love is

    Love is the presents in Christmas shops

    Love is when you're feeling Top of the Pops

    Love is what happens when the music stops

    Love is

    Love is white panties lying all forlorn

    Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm

    Love is when you have to leave at dawn

    Love is

    Love is you and love is me

    Love is prison and love is free

    Love's what's there when you are away from me

    Love is...
  • MirjamukMirjamuk Posts: 190
    Great thread! I love loads of the poems, some are so cute and lovely and others are just hilarious!

    At this rate, we will finish the ceremony to go straight to bed - how will we fit them all in!!! image
  • SwanlakeSwanlake Posts: 1,032
    This is such a lovely thread. I have only just stopped crying. I am very weepy at the moment. Christian the Lion started me off yesterday and I pretty much haven't stopped!

    We are having An Arundel Tomb by Larkin.

    Side by side, their faces blurred

    The earl and countess lie in stone,

    Their proper habits vaguely shown

    As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,

    And that faint hint of the absurd -

    The little dogs under their feet.

    Such plainness of the pre-baroque

    Hardly involves the eye, until

    It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still

    Clasped empty in the other; and

    One sees, with a sharp tender shock,

    His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

    They would not think to lie so long.

    Such faithfulness in effigy

    Was just a detail friends would see:

    A sculptor's sweet commissioned grace

    Thrown off in helping to prolong

    The Latin names around the base.

    They would not guess how early in

    Their supine stationary voyage

    The air would change to soundless damage,

    Turn the old tenantry away ;

    How soon succeeding eyes begin

    To look, not read. Rigidly they

    Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths

    Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light

    Each summer thronged the glass. A bright

    Litter of birdcalls strewed the same

    Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths

    The endless altered people came,

    Washing at their identity.

    Now, helpless in the hollow of

    An unarmorial age, a trough

    Of smoke in slow suspended skeins

    Above their scrap of history,

    Only an attitude remains:

    Time has transfigured them into

    Untruth. The stone fidelity

    They hardly meant has come to be

    Their final blazon, and to prove

    Our almost-instinct almost true:

    What will survive of us is love

    I love that poem so much. It is even more fitting as my H2B is a stone mason and spends most of his life restoring such tombs etc.

    I haven't chosen our second reading yet. I am hoping to be inspired by this thread!


  • Jubline, we also had An Arundel Tomb as one of our readings. I adore Larkin and it was one of the poems that my husband and I shared when we first started going out.

    We also had (and I'm not going to quote them in full due to their length) Shakepeare's Sonnet 116 ('Let me not to the marriage of true minds' - we are both academics) and W.H. Auden's 'Lullaby' (described by my mother as a gay break-up poem, but it does contain what is for me the greatest description of the generosity of human love ever put into words.)

    In the end, we actually included four poems in the service, although the fourth was printed in the back of the order of the day as there wasn't space to have it read in the ceremony itself. It is part of Donne's Eclongue: at the Marriage of the Earl of Somerset, and it still has the power to move me to tears:

    Now, as in Tullia's tomb, one lamp burnt clear,

    Unchanged for fifteen hundred year,

    May these love-lamps we here enshrine,

    In warmth, light, lasting, equal the divine.

    Fire ever doth aspire,

    And makes all like itself, turns all to fire,

    But ends in ashes; which these cannot do,

    For none of these is fuel, but fire too.

    this is joy's bonfire, then, where love's strong arts

    Make of so noble individual parts

    One fire of four inflaming eyes, and of two loving hearts.

    I also wanted to say, lrbpie, I love the Wodehouse passage! Absolutely brilliant - sweet and funny and so appropriate. I do hope you use it.

    *Edit: Sorry, can't seem to spell this morning! image

    [Modified by: Mrs jessicad on August 21, 2008 11:07 AM]

  • ruthemilyruthemily Posts: 13,622
    Lula, I'm glad you like that one. The lines you quoted really are lovely. I like how true the whole thing is, and also full of good advice in a way.

    I also Amo Ergo Sum and may have to add that to my list - very fitting for us nature freaks! image
  • bennicuk1bennicuk1 Posts: 933
    Naocat, I love the Velveteen Rabbit - have you ever read the whole story?

    One reading that I found is a bit weird, its a passage from Babylon 5, its called 'The Declaration of Prinicples', I think with a bit of alteration (de-alien-ising), it could work really well.

    The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.

    The language is not Narn or Human or Centauri or Gaim or Minbari.

    It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust.

    It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion.

    It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.

    But always it is the same voice.

    It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us.

    And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born.

    It is the small, still voice that says we are One.

    No matter the blood, no matter the skin,

    No matter the world, no matter the star,

    We are One.

    No matter the pain, no matter the darkness,

    No matter the loss, no matter the fear.

    We are One.

    Here, gathered together in common cause

    We agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule:

    That we must be kind to one another.

    Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us,

    And each voice lost diminishes us.

    We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation,

    The fire that will light the way to a better future.

    We are One.

  • Leeds28Leeds28 Posts: 136
    I'm glad I'm not the only one crying - just been to 3 weddings and cried at them all and disgraced myself!

    I'm having these two but am on the lookout for a third - I love the Arundel Tomb and my third reader is a rather dour Yorkshire man and I think he'd like it too!

    I Rely on You by Hovis Presley

    I rely on you

    like a Skoda needs suspension

    like the aged need a pension

    like a trampoline needs tension

    like a bungee jump needs apprehension

    I rely on you

    like a camera needs a shutter

    like a gambler needs a flutter

    like a golfer needs a putter

    like a buttered scone involves some butter

    I rely on you

    like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve

    like a hairpin needs a drastic curve

    like an HGV needs endless derv

    like an outside left needs a body swerve

    I rely on you

    like a handyman needs pliers

    like an auctioneer needs buyers

    like a laundromat needs driers

    like The Good Life needed Richard Briers

    I rely on you

    like a water vole needs water

    like a brick outhouse needs mortar

    like a lemming to the slaughter

    Ryan's just Ryan without his daughter

    I rely on you


    The Orange by Wendy Cope

    At lunchtime I bought a huge orange

    The size of it made us all laugh.

    I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave????????

    They got quarters and I had a half.

    And that orange it made me so happy,

    As ordinary things often do

    Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park

    This is peace and contentment. It's new.

    The rest of the day was quite easy.

    I did all my jobs on my list

    And enjoyed them and had some time over.

    I love you. I'm glad I exist.

    Haven't read these for a while - I'm getting all overwhelmed about wedding might have to have a big cry again...
  • Leeds28Leeds28 Posts: 136
    Argh! I've just realised these are both here already! Sorry everyone!
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