Help me say just the right thing about love

I’m looking for short, suitable poems or prose sections about committed love to read at our friends’ wedding in June. Our friends, who are two young women, have asked for poems and prose by women writers only, knocking Shakespeare right out of contention…or does it? I’ll get back to Shakespeare in the last paragraph.

We’ve agreed that the poem or prose to be read at the wedding should not be long, have explicit sexual content, describe pain or loss, and should gloss over who the lovers are with respect to gender, if not about two women. A lot to ask? Apparently. A few have been found so far (Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Moya Cannon, May Sarton), and there are many women poets and writers, thank goodness, so the search continues, but I need help: suggestions will be very welcome for the wedding reading.

The Mary Sidney Society , John Hudson, a Shakespearian scholar, and The Dark Lady Players of New York are proponents of the theory that the works attributed to Shakespeare were written by a woman (but not the same woman). I haven’t read about these women, but I have read other theories about what Will actually wrote. Were the plays and sonnets credited to Shakespeare actually written by somebody else, whether Christopher Marlow or Mary Sidney or Amelia Bassano Lanier? Have you researched Shakespeare and the authorship question? What do you think?

Don’t miss the wonderful work of Irish poet Moya Cannon: