Love is a predominant theme in different kinds of art including poetry. It is a central aspect in human life as people strive to find or give love. In treating the theme of love, different poets have attempted to balance between carnal and spiritual aspects of love. Love has been a major theme in poetry since the medieval time, renaissance and 19th century up to the 20th centuries. Christopher Marlowe’s the passionate shepherd to his love poem, which creates an ideal image of emotions in rural context.
An example of medieval period poem that addresses love is John Donne’s Holy Sonnet. William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is a classic example of a renaissance poem that addresses the theme of love. The love theme in 19th century period, which is popularly termed as the romantic era is exemplified by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.