An ADD Valentine's Day Poem


How do you feel about Valentine's Day?

For half of my life, I've been a Single Awareness Day Valentine's curmudgeon.

My problem (if I'm allowed to self-diagnose) is that I married past the age of 30 so my resentment was 90% solidified, I abhor marketing hype, I think pink and red make a terrible combination, and cupids kind of freak me out. Plus, I honestly love fruit desserts more than chocolate.

There, I said it.

However, it's terrible form to be married and/or have elementary age kids and play Ebenezer Scrooge on February 14th. No one wants to own bitterness on Love Day.  So I do my best to embrace the "season."

This year I'm trying to play along and get ahead of myself.  I've been scouring the internet for the "perfect" poem to share with my husband.

poem search copy
poem search copy

It's not going well.  Seriously, how am I expected to get through these results?The truth is, most poems fall flat because I'm so distractible.  I read the lines and I start a dialog in my head.  Sometimes my attention wanders into myriad areas and I don't know how to find my way back to my original thought.

Somewhere along the line the poem falls apart.

I'll give you a real example and let you follow my mind trip with the classic Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or the "How do I love thee?" poem.

With apologies to Ms. Browning in advance, here's my mental reading.  Ahem (clears throat).

Sonnet 43Eliazabeth Barrett Browning

Why such a dull title? Shakespeare pretty much owns the "sonnet" market. Might be good to do something different.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Seriously, didn't Shakespeare write this?  I had NO idea this wasn't his line. I could have sworn it was in one of the tragedies. Maybe Romeo & Juliet? Macbeth? Or his own sonnet?  Why wouldn't you name a sonnet? You're Shakespeare, for heaven's sake; you DEFINE creative genius.  Instead you make it ok for every poet to title a love poem a sonnet.

I'm already bored...maybe I should go back to the Google well.  I don't think Billy will like this poem.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

Oh! I see a cliff or a deep hole!!  I like word pictures. I wish I could write lines like this!  How does one become a poet anyhow?

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

Wait? What does this mean? Is my soul reaching for one of the ways I love you? Or something else?  Is "out of sight" really meaning blind love? Or love is blind? Or some other variation? Hmmm.

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

Oh! I see!  The spacing is funny. Those first three lines are supposed to go together. Why do poets do this funky formatting? Now I have to go back and read. Alltogethernow --

"I love thee to the breath and depth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace."

Oh, yes. That's a lovely thought.  When I love well, I come to the end of myself and demonstrate ideal grace.

Yes!  I like this poem.  I wish I didn't have to work for it.

Still, it's very thoughtful and literate. Is literate appropriate on Valentine's day or should I Google "funny Valentine" instead? Maybe Jack Handy is more of Billy's speed.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

I see what's happening now - another split thought. Is the spacing correct between every day?  Didn't someone write a post about this? (Pause at least 20 minutes to click through assorted links - nope.  Must have been a tweet!)

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

How do you love someone to the level of their quiet need?  I don't know if I get it, but it sounds intense.  I need to run by Tuesday Morning and see if they have my favorite candle.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

Gorgeous, short thought.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

Who turns from praise?  Did I miss a character?  I'll just skip this line.

I love thee with the passion put to use

Wait for it...

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

Now that's a promise!! I had LOTS of faith as a child.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

Who decided on poetic punctuation?  I can't make Billy work this hard to say I love you!

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

I see you comma!!!  Thanks for directing me to the next line.  At last, I'm tracking!!

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

Kind of tracking. I think. Maybe.

I shall but love thee better after death.

Did one of us just die in this poem?  And is our love going to be better after death? Oh Geez. I definitely can't give a poem where we are talking about death.  That just doesn't seem right.

I should probably see a doctor about this focus thing.

Until then, I'm thinking a simple "I love you" will need to suffice.

And I do love that man of mine!!