There are hundreds and hundreds of poems and formal words of wisdom that could be read at wedding ceremonies. I’ve chosen just a few that have proven to be popular over the years, and some which are my favourites that I wish people would choose.
This last one I offer is a personal gift from one lover to another; it could close the ceremony and be read by them, not me.
It’s by the American poet, e.e. Cummings, who was prolific in the first half of the 2oth century and died in 1962. His unconventional punctuation contributes significantly to the idea of the dreamy, pervasive power of love to infiltrate the depths of your soul, a power driven by itself and out of your control. As Sir Philip Sydney writes in “The Bargain”, Cummings talks of the “just exchange” of hearts, in which “ my true love hath my heart, and I have his”:
“I carry your heart with me
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)
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)”
The poem talks about being at one, about peace, security, strength, trust and comfort – it says it all.