Life, Death, Love
When we think of poetry, we often associate them with these three–attaching poetry with emotion, the spontaneous overflow, as Whitman called it.
These things, however, are too big for your poem. They will rip it apart at the seams. The weight is too much.
This is not to say you cannot write a poem with these elements. I dare say poetry and language itself owes quite a bit to these things.
But yours is not a poem about LOVE, rather it is about your love. But even then your love for someone is a huge thing, and will not fit on a page.
Instead your poem is about a moment–breakfast two years after your wedding; the wilted flowers in the vase from your first date; the stolen glance back when you saw them dancing as they walked away from your first kiss.
Don’t put a net around the galaxy and try to hold it in lines of poetry. Instead look at the moment for poetry, find the whole galaxy in the sparrow on the window sill.
Keep your images tight as well. “Love” or “Death” may bring a grocery list of things to mind, but a list of those things is not as strong poem as a poem about each thing is.
So focus your poetry on the moment, the specific.
And in these small moments, you’ll say what you need to about life, love and death.