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Puppy Love: Robert Pinsky on How to Write a Love Poem

Former U.S. poet laureate offers advice for Valentine’s Day


In “Puppy Love,” Rhett the Terrier puppet and a rotating cast of students, faculty, and staff help solve your romantic questions. On Valentine’s Day, “Puppy Love” fields a question from an anonymous staff member:

“I recently started to date again after taking a break, and I think the rules may have changed. I’m trying to figure out how to show that I’m a caring guy and a sensitive person. I’m thinking of writing my companion a love poem and reading it to her. Do you have any advice?”

Rhett the Terrier puppet knew exactly who to consult—Robert Pinsky, U.S. poet laureate from 1997 to 2000 and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English. Pinsky has some advice, and some words to woo by.

Do you have some tips on writing a love poem? Or perhaps a favorite poem you’d like to share? Leave in the comments section below.

Have a dating, sex, or relationship question you want to ask Rhett the Terrier puppet? Want to be a panelist on “Puppy Love”? Just visit BU Today’s Tumblr.

Alan Wong

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.

6 Comments on Puppy Love: Robert Pinsky on How to Write a Love Poem

  • Laura De Veau on 02.14.2013 at 5:39 am

    Thank you. From the depths of my heart.

  • Earle on 02.14.2013 at 9:36 am

    I find it hard to remember the last time I have seen something so moving, so powerful, so inspiring as Andy’s first head tilt at 4:06. Hopefully, performances like these are signs of a long tenure as host of Puppy Love for Mr. Rader. Of course, I should probably also mention that I thought the poetic reading was very intriguing, the piano playing quite beautiful, and the advice from the guests on point. Certainly a stellar production overall, imho.

  • Leslie on 02.14.2013 at 10:09 am

    I feel like we should now gold-plate our lunch room. What a stellar performance by all. Thank you, Mr. Pinsky, Rhett, Andy, Gabrielle, and Jordan.

  • PK on 02.14.2013 at 4:10 pm

    Earle, I hear you, but I was more taken with Andy’s second head tilt. Excellent job, all!

  • C.H. on 02.15.2013 at 7:06 am

    Everyone in this video is beautiful.

  • Daniel Cretes on 02.01.2014 at 5:33 am

    No doubt Pinsky is a laureate poet of all ages.

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