Writing a love poem can seem like an ominous task because it feels like it has so much weight bearing down on its meaning. Perhaps the poet is trying to share emotion or affection simply, but it can be as serious as a marriage proposal too.

These are seven tips for writing a highly efficient short love poem.

1) Length

The term short is vague. Short to one person may be prolonged to another. Consider a length of 12-18 lines to be an appropriate length. If the poem is too short, it will appear to be shallow and lack substance. If it is too lengthy, the loved one won’t take the time to read it. Keep the length in mind right from the start.

2) Rhyme

One of the most common mistakes that people were trying to write love poems make is using a sing-song rhyming that makes the verse seem frivolous and empty. If this is going to be a genuine poem of genuine emotion, avoid the cheap rhymes.

Even in the digital age love poems never go out of style3) Hokey versions of “Roses are red…”

Spare your loved one any version of this classic trite verse. No one wants to hear “Roses are red/Violets are blue/Will you wed me/Before I get the flu.” It is forcing your message into a trite, overused rhyme, and although cute, it is a groaner.

4) Metaphors and Similes

Selective and creative uses of comparisons can paint the picture of your love. Just make sure that the painting is the one you want. Don’t compare your love to an old stinky gym sock that you hang onto for luck or that your heart beats like the roar of a NASCAR race. They just are not images that the loved one wants to be associated with the emotion of love. Choose images that will have positive connotations.

5. Too many conflicting images

Sometimes the flaw is that the poet is so filled with emotions and great ideas that it never gets limited down. It isn’t a good idea to cram every good idea into one poem. Consider the possibility of writing more poems further down the line. If possible just use one theme and develop images from that theme. If your love is being compared to a hummingbird, use words associated only with that theme such as sweet allure; fast beating; hovering close; tasting the sweet nectar of his or her kiss, and so on.

6. Presentation

Consider how the love poem will be given to the loved one. The greatest poem ever could be written on a Buffalo wing stained napkin, but the presentation loses its appeal. Follow through with the presentation. Avoid torn pieces of notebook papers, towels, grocery sacks and so on. Although handwritten always trumps typed on a computer. A poem that is handwritten demonstrates personal feelings. The material that it is written on reflects thought and effort. Consider tying the presentation to the theme. Give a little figurine of a hummingbird along with the poem themed with a hummingbird or use a permanent marker and write the poem on a leaf.

7. Time to rest

Give the poem time to rest. Don’t write it minutes before you want to give it to someone. It is essential to let the poem rest for a day or two and then look at it with fresh eyes. Sometimes more reasonable heads prevail in time, and that’s when the alarm bells ring on the gym sock love poem. It is always good to come back and look at the poem later.

Writing a love poem can be a real treat and a wonderful gift. Slip a love poem under a loved one’s pillow or on the steering wheel of his or her car. Leave a love, not in their lunch bag or even text it on their cell phone with a picture of you as a couple. Whatever the place or the occasion, love poems can be a great way to share your emotions with the one you love.