A Poetry Professor Critiques Justin Bieber’s Love Poem to Hailey Baldwin

Justin Bieber, poet. Photo-Illustration: Photos: Getty Images

Who among us hasn’t, at one point or another, felt so moved by the tides of Love that they decided to take pen to paper in an attempt to convey the exquisite, overwhelming emotions churning inside? I wrote most of my love poems in 7th grade, when I had a tattered notebook and a crush on a guy named Guy, who had a butt cut and only the vaguest idea of who I was. Similarly, kind of, this week, international pop star and former monkey owner Justin Bieber wrote an ode to his wife, Hailey Bieber — née Baldwin, of the Baldwins — on Instagram, three times.

After a couple of false, deleted starts due to typos (“Abyss” spelled “Abiss”) Bieber posted the following poem alongside a picture of his betrothed in front of the Eiffel Tower:

Sunlight falls into the Abyss 

Just like i fall into your lips

Waves crash onto the shore

My love for you grows more and more

Sound of the crickets a true meditation

I think about you, Gods greatest creation.

As i fall into this blissful state

I ponder on how you’re my one true SOULMATE

Its getting dark to dark to see

A chilling breeze embraces me

The smell of camomile fresh from the garden

My life is a movie that both of us star in.

Speaking of stars I’m starting to see some

They light up the sky, reminds me of my freedom

How big and how vast our world is around us 

So grateful for god we were lost but he found us

So i write the poem with him always in mind

Things all around us Just get better with time. I fall more in love with you every day! You have walked hand and hand with me as I continue to get my emotions, mind, body and soul in tact! You have given me so much strength, support , encouragement and joy. I just wanted to publicly honor you, and remind you that the best is yet to come! Have a great shoot today my love!

Waves crashing. The sound of crickets. SOULMATE in all caps. A moving dedication, certainly. To better understand the merits of this piece, the Cut spoke to Jeffrey McDaniel, a creative writing professor at Sarah Lawrence College who’s published five books of poetry.

“My first thought was that this love poem written at dusk to a distant beloved was rather pedestrian, and that maybe it would work better as a single couplet paired with the image,” McDaniel wrote in an email. “But as I have spent time with the poem, there are some engaging possibilities to explore in revision.”

As for the piece’s strengths, McDaniel said he liked how the line, “The smell of camomile [sic] fresh from the garden” “plays to the reader’s senses,” and that he’s interested in the “chilling breeze” that embraces the speaker.

Its weaknesses? The rhymes are too predictable, and there are too many abstractions. Still: While there’s work to be done on the piece, McDaniel says there is potential, especially in this line: “My life is a movie that both of us star in.”

“The speaker acknowledges that he and his beloved are trapped (or at least contained) by his fame. And yet the paradox is he chose to share this intimate address on social media thereby perpetuating his fame. That is something to explore in revision.”

Perhaps Bieber will post a fourth version in the coming days.

A Poetry Professor Critiques Justin Bieber’s Love Poem