05/30/2014 02:43 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Honor of Maya Angelou

By now you all have heard about the passing of the great author and poet Maya Angelou. When I first heard the poem "Phenomenal Woman" I felt as a woman I could do anything. I felt empowered, like the world was at my fingertips. Poetry can evoke many intense emotions and has been a tool to express love for hundreds of years.

When you propose to your girlfriend, you want her to feel how much you love her. You want her to float on the clouds of happiness and never want to come down. She should feel that your proposal is the start of something great, something life-changing, and something phenomenal. So in honor of Maya Angelou, I put together some proposal ideas inspired by poetry.

Write Your Own Poem

Part of proposing is communicating exactly why you want to marry your girlfriend. What better way to express that emotion than by writing it in a poem? Take some time to create your poetic masterpiece and then have it printed on a beautiful scroll so that you can read it to her before you pop the question. If you don't feel that you can write a poem on your own, there are companies that can take your words and your feelings and turn them into a gorgeous poem for you.

Recite A Well-Known Poem

Another option is just to incorporate an already well-known poem into your proposal. For example, find out what her favorite love poem is and recite it to her before you propose. You can also play off of a famous poem by taking a great poem like "How Do I Love Thee" and adding your own reasons about why you love your girlfriend.

Display A Poem

Perhaps reciting a poem is not really your thing. That doesn't mean you can't incorporate a beautiful poem into your proposal. Find out if she has a favorite love poem, or find a poem that you feel really speaks to you about her. Have the poem printed so that you can display it as part of your marriage proposal. You could have it printed on a canvas, on regular paper and frame it, or even print a few and make a book out of it.

Spoken Word Artists

If you want to try something out of the box, hire a group of spoken word artists. Meet with them in advance and work together on creating a spoken word style poem that will really wow your girlfriend. Invite her to a Poetry Slam and watch her get the surprise of her life when a poet starts speaking all about her and your relationship.

Hire A Poet

If you know a famous poet or think you can pull some strings, you could hire one to work with you to write a poem. Then, tell your girlfriend that the poet is doing a poem reading at a bookstore. You take her there and she is blown away when she realizes you hired a famous poet to write and recite a poem for her!

Adding a poem to your marriage proposal is the perfect way to incorporate class, romance, and elegance into your big day. Make sure that you personalize your proposal and the poem and she is sure to remember it for the rest of her life.

Michele is a Proposal Planner who owns The Heart Bandits and her work has been featured in NY Times, LA Times, NBC, Anderson Cooper Live, Brides Magazine, and more. Contact The Heart Bandits to have them plan your romantic date or marriage proposal. For more information about The Heart Bandits, visit