07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine’s Day – make it personal!

It’s that time of year again, no not tax time, thank goodness, a very romantic time, Valentine’s Day. I can hear men groaning all over the world. But really does it have to be such a chore. It’s the little things that count. I’d be happy if a man simply made me breakfast in bed. 

Did you know that Saint Valentine was a third century Roman priest who was stoned and beheaded for secretly marrying soldiers who were not allowed to wed? Not very romantic is it?

It was however, Geoffrey Chaucer, in the middle ages England who started the idea of associating the day with romantic love.  Lovers would give each other flowers or poetry. Since the 19th Century handwritten valentine’s have become the norm.

I wonder if any men, or women for that matter, still write each other a valentine’s poem? I’d absolutely love it if a man wrote me a simple heartfelt note, it doesn’t even have to be a poem, just something that demonstrates that he understands me and appreciates me.

For those of you out there thinking of writing your own Valentine’s day message instead of simply buying a card, here is one of my favorite heartfelt poems ‘Valentine’ by John Fuller.  His novel Flying to Nowhere (1983), a historical fantasy, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, and was nominated for the Booker Prize. Rather than being a somber, I’ll die without you type of poem, it’s fun and really shows the depth of his feelings for his wife.  I can picture a rake in one of my historical romances actually thinking this about his lover or wife, and planning to bath (no showers in 1800’s and do some of the things he mentions in this poem. Here’s a taste of his poem (I’ve cut some of it)…

The things about you I appreciate may seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power and see you eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate. 

Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I’d like to successfully guess your weight and win you at a f
I’d like to offer you a flower.

I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders, too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I’d like all your particulars in folders marked Confidential).

I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath) in rows.

I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.

Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work, on hinges.

I’d like you in my confidence.
I’d like to be your second look.
I’d like to let you try the French Defence and mate you with my rook.
I’d like to be your preference and hence
I’d like to be around when you unhook.
I’d like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book, your future tense.

Go on, I challenge you to write something for the person you love this Valentine’s Day and put it in a handmade card. I’m sure whoever receives it will understand how special they are!  

Email me a picture of your handmade card and I’ll draw one lucky winner  who will win a copy of Wicked Wagers The Complete Trilogy. Entries close 14 February 2013.

PS. The Wicked Wagers cover (designed by Carrie Divine) is in the JABBIC contest. If you love it go and vote – it’s number 51 in historical category. Open until 10th February 2013.

1 comment:

Judith Ashley said...

I remember making Valentine Day cards for the other kids in my class at school out of red and white construction paper and cut out lace doilies. I don't think I've ever writtne a Valentine Day poem and it's been years since I did the cards. My granddaughters bought boxes of pre-made cards to give out in class. By then, you had to give one to everyone in the class not just your 'valentine' or friends which was the norm in my day.