Valentine’s Day poetry

For years I have shared love poetry on Valentine’s day via email, Facebook, etc. with friends all over the world, but not on my blog here.  This year, I’ve decided to share here too as it’s something I’ve become known for and people repeatedly tell me that they look forward to it.

It’s a tradition I started as a single gal because 1) I love to give, 2) I love poetry, and 3) I’m a hopeless romantic.  Plus it was some sort of weird “I can be single and fulfilled” thing too.  It turns out that it was a tradition that came in handy when I got married in a hurry (2 weeks to plan–eep!).  I had a favorite romantic poem in a dollar store frame on every table at my reception.  LOL!

At any rate, the tradition is to share a few of my favorite or newly discovered favorite love poems, as well as one of my own.  I found a few poems by others I really liked this year (as I read throughout the year to find new ones), but had a hard time with one of my own.  It’s been an off year for my writing of poetry.  Lots of other emotional stuff going on.  However, I did write some love poems (because I do), but one was “too cliche” (from what my poetry critique partners told me).  SO the one I share, I share reluctantly because my love thought it was a criticism at the time (it wasn’t) and … well the dirty socks don’t exist in quite the same way any more.  Yet this makes me love him more, because even this tiny detail he is willing to change for me.

 

Praisesong

by Sarah Browning

At the coffee shop you love,

white mugs heavy on the table

between us, young baristas—

spiky haired and impatient—

cannot imagine how two people

so old to them can feel so wanton,

coffee growing cold between us,

middle-aged bodies growing hot

under the other’s gaze. Even now,

apart, you send me songs so I may

listen to love from the golden throat

of a saxophone, piano keys playing

jazz across my soft belly.

How is it the tide of terror

has quit rising in me, or rises

and recedes as tides do, bringing

sea glass worked smooth

and lovely by the sheer fact

of time, bringing trash—

plastic mesh and old sneakers—

useless things now we might

bag up and remove, bringing

a lapping tongue of water up

over our toes as we hold hands

and walk along its edge—

carefully, gleefully, both.

 

Yours

by Daniel Hoffman

I am yours as the summer air at evening is
Possessed by the scent of linden blossoms,

As the snowcap gleams with light
Lent it by the brimming moon.

Without you I’d be an unleafed tree
Blasted in a bleakness with no Spring.

Your love is the weather of my being.
What is an island without the sea?

Love Comes Quietly

by Robert Creeley

Love comes quietly,
finally, drops
about me, on me,
in the old ways.

What did I know
thinking myself
able to go
alone all the way.

 

And this one was at the end of a movie (“The Shape of Water”).  I tried to find the source of the poem, but … this has been a challenge. “Though he doesn’t remember exactly where the verse came from, del Toro remembers reading it in a book of Islamic poetry, found in a bookstore he’d frequent before going on set to film.”  Another person thought it came from “Divine Eros” by Saint Symeon.  Your guess is as good as mine (and if anyone knows the source and can tell me, I will totally send you chocolate!).

 

“Unable to perceive the shape of You,

I find You all around me.

Your presence fills my eyes with Your love,

It humbles my heart,

For You are everywhere.”

 

And finally, there is my poem.  I’m half tempted to share the cliche one instead as it shares a note of joy over my love.  BUT as I said, this poem sings of joy to me for many other reasons.

 

Ode to Dirty Socks

by me

Twisted inside out

like a hermit crab inside a shell,

your socks wait in the basket

for me to discover them:

rough cotton that expels tiny puffs

of sweaty foot ash

when I grapple with them

to prepare the wash.

Why are there so many?

This is the price of love

and surely it is better

than the empty basket

I used to keep.

About jenabenton

I'm an elementary school teacher, writer, illustrator and storyteller.

7 Responses

  1. Rhonda Rogers

    Thanks Jena! You are very talented. I love the last poem because no dirty socks means there’s no one in my life to cuddle with, or kiss, or hug, or fix dinner for. And I love doing all those things for my honey ❤️💞💘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzanne Lewis

    Thank you, Jena. What a sweet, loving tribute to all the ways, shapes and forms of love! Your poem is precious and your simple capture and expression of the love you have for your partner is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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