What was the most romantic letter of all time?
Participants were asked to decide between letters from Winston Churchill, John Keats, Ernest Hemingway, Beethoven and others to determine who wrote the greatest love letter of all time. Here's how the letters were ranked:
TOP TEN GREATEST LOVE LETTERS
10) Jimi Hendrix tells his "little girl" to spread her wings (date unknown)
9) Gerald Ford reminds wife Betty Ford of his and their family's love for her shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer (1974)
8) Beethoven pens his love for his 'Immortal Beloved' whose true identity remains a mystery (1812)
7) King Henry VIII expresses his love for Anne Boleyn (1527)
6) Richard Burton tells Elizabeth Taylor of her beauty (1964)
5) Napoleon Bonaparte sends his love to Josephine de Beauharnais (1796)
4) Ernest Hemingway professes his love to Marlene Dietrich (1951)
3) John Keats tells next door neighbour Fanny Brawne he can not live without her (1819)
2) Winston Churchill tells wife Clementine Churchill of his undying love (1935)
The winner was none other than Johnny Cash's letter to June Carter on 65th birthday in 1994.
The letter reads:
June 23 1994
Happy Birthday Princess,
We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.
But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
Happy Birthday Princess.
The poll revealed something else, though.
Matthew Gledhill, managing director at Beagle Street, was quoted by The Daily Mail as saying,
"A well-written love letter can stand the test of time and be a permanent record of affection so it is important the tradition doesn't die out," adding, "We hope our research inspires people who have never written a love letter to take some time out and write down and share exactly how they feel with a loved one."
The poll found that although one in four men had written a love letter within the last year, 46 percent of women polled called the tradition outdated. 38 percent of the women polled said they had never written a love letter.
Are love letters outdated?
Is there a place for love letters in the high-speed world of email and texting? Or is it dead: An "outdated" gesture?
We hold that letters still deserve a place in the world. Here's why love letters are not dead.
You cannot multi-task and write a letter.
To write a letter or a note, you have to pick up a pen and paper, sit down, and write. Emails can be unconscious. Letters can only be conscious.
They require patience and effort.
Letters are tangible and tactile.
You hold them in your hands knowing that the last hands that held them were those of someone who loves you and whom, ideally, you love in return.
You never read a letter just once. You read it a couple times when you get it: once out of excitement, the second time to savor every word of it.
Love letters are kept and read whenever you need some reassurance that you are worth thinking of.
Letters can be our beacons when we feel ourselves tossing and turning in the storms of our lives, searching for a safe harbor.
The ink never really dries on a letter. Those moments are always there, waiting to be reopened, waiting to be re-read.
Please share this with your friends. And go write some love letters.