I have always been very fond of letters in literature. First of all, I find them to be a nice, refreshing change among all those descriptions and dialogues between characters – second of all, letters have a way of explaining the other persons’ feelings that just can’t be done in normal narrative fiction-writing. Since a letter is so personal, you can really allow yourself to dig deep into your protagonist’s true personality by expressing a sincere love for someone through decorative words. How wonderful!
FIRST – I want to show you guys some highly romantic examples of love-letters from books – then, some real-life examples between famous writers and musicians! Yes, I said it!
1. Allow yourself to be a little extra – Like Captain Frederick Wentworth did it in his love-letter to Anne Elliot towards the end of her novel “Persuasion” by Jane Austen – where he finally opened up his heart to her, expressing everything that he had been keeping a secret for so long!
Miss A. E
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in – F.W
2. Don’t beat around the bush. Just pour out your heart in the most direct way, and it will become poetry – just like Noah did in his letter to Ally – from “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
My dearest Ally,
I couldn’t sleep last nite because I know it’s over between us. I’m not
bitter anymore because I know what we had was real. And if in some distant
place in the future we see each other in our new lives I will smile at you
with joy and remember how we spent a summer beneath the trees learning from
each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the
soul and makes us reach for more and that plants a fire in our hearts and
brings peace to our minds and that’s what you’ve given me and that’s what
I’d hope to give to you forever. I love you; I’ll be seeing you.
3. Be kind, be soft. Be a comforting shoulder – like Gerry was to Holly in his last letter to her, from “PS. I love you” by Cecelia Ahern
I don’t have much time. I don’t mean literally, I mean you’re out buying ice cream and you’ll be home soon. But I have a feeling this is the last letter, because there is only one thing left to tell you. It isn’t to go down memory lane or make you buy a lamp, you can take care of yourself without any help from me. It’s to tell you how much you move me, how you changed me. You made me a man, by loving me Holly. And for that, I am eternally grateful… Literally. If you can promise me anything, promise me that whenever you’re sad, or unsure, or you lose complete faith, that you’ll try to see yourself through my eyes. Thank you for the honor of being my wife. I’m a man with no regrets. How lucky am I. You made my life, Holly. But I’m just one chapter in yours. There’ll be more. I promise. So here it comes, the big one. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends.
P.S. I will always love you.
And here comes the letters from real life …
Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald
I look down the tracks and see you coming – and out of every haze and 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 and I’m never in all our lives going to let us be apart another night. It’s like begging for mercy of a storm or killing Beauty or growing old, without you. I want to kiss you so – and in the back where your dear hair starts and your chest – I love you – and I can’t tell you how much – To think that I’ll die without you knowing – Goofo, you’ve got to try to feel how much I do – how inanimate I am when you’re gone – I can’t even hate these damnable people – Nobody’s got any right to live but us – and they’re dirtying up our world and I can’t hate them because I want you so – Come Quick – Come Quick to me – I could never do without you if you hated me and were covered with sores like a leper – if you ran away with another woman and starved me and beat me – I still would want you, I know –
Lover, Lover, Darling – Your wife.
Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas (Platonic or romantic love?)
My Own Boy,
Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red rose-leaf 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, yours,
Ludwig Van Beethoven to unknown “Immortal Beloved” (who could’ve known that the father of beautiful music, also was the father of beautiful poetry?)
Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us. I can only live, either altogether with you or not at all. Yes, I have determined to wander about for so long far away, until I can fly into your arms and call myself quite at home with you, can send my soul enveloped by yours into the realm of spirits — yes, I regret, it must be. You will get over it all the more as you know my faithfulness to you; never another one can own my heart, never — never! O God, why must one go away from what one loves so, and yet my life in W. as it is now is a miserable life. Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time. At my actual age I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances? Angel, I just hear that the post goes out every day — and must close therefore, so that you get the L. at once. Be calm — love me — today — yesterday.
What longing in tears for you — You — my Life — my All — farewell. Oh, go on loving me — never doubt the faithfullest heart
Of your beloved
So, do you see where I’m coming from? What if people today, STILL wrote love-letters like these, expressing their profound love for someone? It doesn’t even have to be to a seductive mistress or lover. It could be to your wife or husband. Zelda wrote countless letters to Scott, even after they got married. Their love didn’t die. Why? Many have been wondering about this, including myself. But maybe we have found the answer? Maybe couples should write more letters to each other? Wouldn’t it be great if we could all inspire each other to write like these people … Perhaps there’s something to learn from Zelda, Oscar, and Ludwig – Perhaps it would be a more beautiful world? More communicative, more compassionate, more romance?
Anyhow, I’d like to hear what you guys think – Which one did you prefer? The real-life letters or the ones made up by fiction-writers? Tell me in the comments below!
Aftur S. Nerdrum