how to make a message in a bottle, love letter in a bottle, love poem in a bottle, message in a bottle, romantic message in a bottle
Sweet and Spicy Love Poem in a Bottle Remains Unsolved
When I first began finding messages in bottles, it felt like I’d fallen into an alternate universe where anything was possible. And many of those early bottles held romantic messages. But one I found waaaaay back in 2009 has always stuck in my mind. I’m referring to the message in a bottle at far right in this photo. There, inside that big, dark wine bottle, was a message I would never forget. In fact, it turned out to be not just a love letter in a bottle, but actually a love poem in a bottle!
When I got the message out, I was completely blown away. I knew that people wrote romantic messages in bottles and set them adrift, of course. But it had never occurred to me that someone would write and send an actual, honest to goodness love poem in a bottle and send it to sea. But there it was right in front of me!
Sadly, despite many, many attempts to solve this message and locate either the author or the intended recipient over the 13 years since I found it, this message remains unsolved, which highlights the bittersweet tone of the poem itself.
Faded Romantic Message in a Bottle Requires Special Lighting to Read
Now, check out the message, and try to read it!
You can’t right? You’re thinking, “What poem? Where is it?”
That’s what I thought at first, too. If we zoom in and tinker with the lighting, you can see SOME of the message…
It struck me as odd that some parts of the writing were gone while others were legible. This seems to be caused by variations in exposure of different parts of the message to sun and water that leaks into the bottle.
Anyway, the absence of much of the text perplexed me for a while, and I wasn’t sure how to go about “revealing” the lost writing. Then one day my dad suggested using a UV light to see if any ink fluoresced. He and my mom watched a lot of CSI in those days. If there’s one thing we all learned from that show, it’s that a black light can solve just about any mystery (even an invisible bottled love poem!) 🙂
I’ll never forget the moment in my darkened old high school bedroom when I flicked on the black light and dark letters appeared in a blue glow, jumping off the page! I remember feeling oddly like those lost words had been dying to simply be seen… And now, here they were! The poem and accompanying message span 3 pages. These go in order from page 1, including some close ups. See captions for details.
Invisible Love Poem in a Bottle Revealed
Once I could see the writing, it was just a matter of transcribing it. Here’s what I was able to read!
Long 66.25’81 (Heart Symbol)
On my way to
With you floating
In my thoughts
A while has past
Since I saw you
A kiss goodbye in
Left me wondering
If I would see
Just once more
When we met
On an island…
After a night
Of stormy passion
I don’t know
Which way the wind
Like the ocean
I will float with
You forever pirate
Of my hart…
To the finder of my bottled message =)
Thank you for forwarding my message.
I would like to reward you contact me
Via email Thanx
*also be so kind as to forward
this message to my friend in
Afrika, South Africa
Want you to know that
You’re in the middle
Of the depth
That you are my
Best friend and
Hope that this bottled
Message is enough
Just to say
I treasure your friendship
# (some email address)
# (some email address)
# (some email address)
This person was really putting it all out there! I have to say, I admire the heck out of that. I don’t know if I would be brave enough to send such a message, in case someone (like me) might actually find it!
How to Write a Romantic Message in a Bottle Love Poem
Now, some may call this poem cheesy, but if you ask me, it’s practically an instruction manual for writing a love poem in a bottle. Bottling love letters as gifts or wedding proposals has become a fairly popular trend. Anyone planning to make a love letter or love poem in a bottle should definitely read this real life bottled love poem as inspiration!
Let’s look at what makes it work, shall we?
The power and potential of either a love letter or poem in a bottle comes from a few key elements.
First, the whole concept is appealing because it gives us a visible, tangible container for our feelings. Normally, our feelings are all over the place, nearly impossible to pin down or communicate clearly to one another. But the idea of using a bottle as a container for our feelings causes us to think clearly and specifically about what we want to put in there.
Second, there’s only so much space in a bottle, so it’s kind of built into the whole idea that you should write powerfully and get to the point.
Third, messages in bottles are romantic. They just are.
This love poem certainly doesn’t waste any time getting to the point!
The author begins in a moment of reflection, “drifting along,” probably literally in a boat, thinking about the intended recipient. From there, the author takes us to a steamy kissing scene in the rain! This is quickly followed by the author recalling their chance meeting “on an island” and a “night of stormy passion”.
The final high point comes a few lines later, as the author makes peace with the fact that they may never see this person again. Nevertheless, they know they both carry a piece of each other everywhere they go. “I will float with / you forever pirate / of my hart”.
Spicy! Sweet! There is much to admire about this bottled love poem. If you want to attempt writing your own romantic message in a bottle, I encourage you to think about the key elements of this one. Maybe this wouldn’t all end up in your letter, but it’s worth doing a little free writing to warm up:
- How did you meet?
- Any particular nights of stormy passion you’d like to reference?
- Think of your most significant kiss. Or, imagine having to kiss your loved one goodbye as in this poem.
- Is your loved one the pirate of your heart? Or something else? The guardian? The caretaker? The skipped beat?
Lastly, I love the endearing misspelling of “heart” at the end. Always makes me think of an actual “hart”. You stole my HART!! How DEER you?!
Let it Be: The Unsolvable Love Poem Edition
Maybe leaving this message in a bottle unsolved is for the best? Maybe the feelings expressed in this bottled love poem were not reciprocated? Perhaps I shouldn’t go meddling in other people’s love affairs? (Well, to be fair, ya’ll shouldn’t tell your love story in a message in a bottle if you don’t want me to find it, cause I’m a-lookin’!).
A couple years after I found and opened this bottle, I took one more shot at reaching the people behind the note. LEX18 News in Lexington, Kentucky (where I taught at the time) came to my house for an interview, where I read the poem out for them (though I got a few words wrong because it was very hard to read).
And that was that.
So I share this message here just to spread a little joy and love 🙂
Maybe this love letter in a bottle was meant to “drift along from somewhere…to nowhere” and simply “float forever”. Maybe it was meant to rekindle for all of us, just for a moment, memories of our own passionate flings, our could-have-beens, our kisses in the rain. Or, perhaps, it was meant to inspire us to tell our loves how we feel while we still have the chance…bottle optional.
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Lenore Frost said:
Hi Clint, surely that email address ends in za, not 3a -za for Zuid-Afrika, or South Africa.
Clint Buffington | Message in a Bottle Hunter said:
Yep! Don’t know how I missed that typo. Thanks for catching it 🙂