Why don’t you make a surprise to your sweetheart and read the very first love poem in history?

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am going to go a little off-topic today and write about the history of the first love poem.

Have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach? If so, have you ever tried to write your feelings on a piece of paper in those times? If you haven’t, don’t worry. Maybe the very first love poem in history gives you the inspiration to start.

A tablet describing Inanna

The first known love song, also the first love poem, was written on a tablet found in a Mesopotamian city, Nineveh, which is now the Southern part of Iraq.

According to the Sumerian belief, it was a sacred duty for the king to marry a priestess who was believed to be a votary of Inanna, the goddess of love and procreation, in order to ensure fertility and prosperity for the next year. Ceremonies for these marriages were celebrated on New Year’s day by feasts and banquets. The poem was probably recited by the chosen bride at one of these celebrations. As a short note, prior to the discovery of this tablet, The Song of Solomon in the Bible was considered as the oldest love poem.

After the tablet was found in an archeological research in the 19th century, it was taken to the Istanbul Museum in Turkey and kept it untranslated until a famous Sumerologist, Samuel Noah Kramer, found it in a drawer in 1951. So, we’ve known this poem for the last 65 years although it was written almost 4,000 years ago!

Here is the first paragraph of the poem:

The Love Song of Shu-Sin

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

 

 

Posted on Feb. 14, 2017

  1. With a background in literature,I’ve had to study a lot of love poetry. It’s really neat to see this piece of history that likely inspired some of the greats that would follow. Thanks so much for sharing! Such an interesting post.

    • I used to read poems in Turkish. My favorite poet is Nazim Hikmet. However, I can’t say he wrote romantic poems, he wrote many poems for his wife though. This is one example of his poems that he wrote for his wife:

      Before the time runs out, my rose,
      before Paris is burned down and destroyed,
      and my heart is still on its branch,
      I, one night, one of these May nights,
      holding you against the wall in Quai Voltaire,
      must kiss you on the lips
      then turning our faces toward Notre Dame

      we must gaze at its rose window
      my rose, suddenly you must embrace me,
      with fear, surprise and happiness,
      sobbing silently,
      the stars too must pour
      mixed with a drizzling rain.
      Before the time runs out, my rose,
      before Paris is burned down and destroyed.

  2. Dicle, this is a great post! I love that you shared something about Valentine’s day that has a deeper meaning than a box of chocolates.

  3. An interesting dialogue is value comment. I feel that it is best to write extra on this subject, it won’t be a taboo subject but generally persons are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers edgdegkkcckd

    • Hi Johna606, I wanted to tell the most important and interesting part in a short way. As you said, there is much more to tell. Thank you for your comment. Cheers!

  4. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Dont know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar rss drawback? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx eddgaaeecdda

    • Hi Johnb35, thank you very much. I am happy that you like this article. I didn’t know that there is an issue with rss. I will try to fix it asap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*