“What the world needs now is love, sweet love,” goes the song.
Read the excerpts from famous love letters below, and then craft your own letter to—or about—a loved one. The love you write about need not be romantic—perhaps you’ll write to your mother, a beloved pet, or best friend. Regardless of the recipient, make sure to write about what it is about this being that you admire, adore, or appreciate.
Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald
I look down the tracks and see you coming—and out of every haze & mist your darling rumpled trousers are hurrying to me—Without you, dearest dearest I couldn't see or hear or feel or think—or live—I love you so.
Fiona Apple to her fans (upon cancelling her tour to stay home with her dying dog)
I’m writing to a few thousand friends. I am writing to ask them to change our plans. I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now. Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life. … She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is… Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go. I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship. I am the woman who stays home for my dearest, oldest friend.
Barack Obama to his daughters
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
Emily Dickinson to Susan Gilbert
…Susie, forgive me Darling, for every word I say – my heart is full of you, none other than you is in my thoughts, yet when I seek to say to you something not for the world, words fail me. If you were here – and Oh that you were, my Susie, we need not take at all, our eyes would whisper for us, and your hand fast in mine…
* The original idea for this prompt came from PureHeart
. Want to craft your own prompt idea for the Words for Joy
group? Please do so here