Valentines Poetry 2021

I can hardly believe it, but Valentine’s day 2021 is upon us.  I’ve been seeking high and low for poems to share this year and … I thought I was out of luck.  BUT then I found a file where I’d been saving them throughout the year as I ran across them and I got to discover them all over again!  I have 5 poems to share this year and from quite a variety of writers.  I also worked quite hard on the one of my own that I will share this year.  I hope you enjoy them all.


Photo by Laura Ockel

First, I researched a poet of whom I’d always want to read more: Sara Teasdale. I shared a favorite of her poems a few years ago, and no surprise, I found several!  SO I had to sort through to find just ONE (so hard to pick!).  Then I stumbled upon one that I hadn’t read before in a new collection of Naomi Shihab Nye’s work (“Everything Comes Next”).  I found one by a Japanese poet I hadn’t previously heard of (Sadakichi Hartmann), and found two more by a couple of my favorite poets that I hadn’t read before (Li-Young Lee AND Pablo Neruda).  As always, I will share my poem at the end.

Spring Rain

Sara Teasdale

I thought I had forgotten,

But it all came back again

tonight with the first spring thunder

in a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway

where we stood while the storm swept by,

thunder gripping the earth

and lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor buses swayed,

for the street was a river of rain,

lashed into little golden waves

in the lamp light’s stain.

With the wild spring rain and thunder

my heart was wild and gay;

your eyes said more to me that night

than your lips would ever say. …

I thought I had forgotten,

but it all came back again

tonight with the first spring thunder

in a rush of rain.

San Antonio

Naomi Shihab Nye 

Tonight I lingered over your name,

the delicate assembly of vowels

a voice inside my head.

You were sleeping when I arrived.

I stood by your bed

and watched the sheets rise gently.

I knew what slant of light

would make you turn over.

It was then I felt

the highways slide out of my hands.

I remembered the old men

in the west side cafe,

dealing dominoes like magical charms.

It was then I knew,

like a woman looking backward,

I could not leave you,

or find anyone I loved more.


Why I Love Thee?

Sadakichi Hartmann

Why I love thee?;
Ask why the seawind wanders,;
Why the shore is aflush with the tide,;
Why the moon through heaven meanders;
Like seafaring ships that ride;
On a sullen, motionless deep;;
Why the seabirds are fluttering the strand;
Where the waves sing themselves to sleep;
And starshine lives in the curves of the sand!;


I Loved You Before I Was Born

Li-Young Lee 

I loved you before I was born.
It doesn’t make sense, I know.

I saw your eyes before I had eyes to see.
And I’ve lived longing
for your ever look ever since.
That longing entered time as this body.
And the longing grew as this body waxed.
And the longing grows as the body wanes.
The longing will outlive this body.

I loved you before I was born.
It doesn’t make sense, I know.

Long before eternity, I caught a glimpse
of your neck and shoulders, your ankles and toes.
And I’ve been lonely for you from that instant.
That loneliness appeared on earth as this body.
And my share of time has been nothing
but your name outrunning my ever saying it clearly.
Your face fleeing my ever
kissing it firmly once on the mouth.

In longing, I am most myself, rapt,
my lamp mortal, my light
hidden and singing.

I give you my blank heart.
Please write on it
what you wish.

If You Forget Me

Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.


(by me)

“the warp and weave and waft of iron

and paper and light and salt…”    ~Alberto Rios, “On Gathering Artists”

“Lutestring: A fine, glossy silk fabric, often used for linings [in bed drapes or windows].”   ~Humphries Weaving

we weave words

and minutes

and particles

in memories

the joys of tiny wings

beating the air

in the back yard

and the mysteries of Alaskan forests

the salt tears

of loss and grief

and the iron sharp anger

against implacable

and reckless employers

the weft accrues


on the warp

of our lives


in days

and dreams

and ambitions


on the loom

in a lutestring

with the delicate sheen

that comes from

being polished

by a steel blade

we are the paper

we write on

and the silk

our love produces

lining our lives

and our home

with the fine plain weave

of Sarsnet

that subtly changes colors

as it moves

we are the high lustre

and soft finish

that we wrap

around ourselves

in every day


4 thoughts on “Valentines Poetry 2021

Leave a Reply