Saturday, February 05, 2011


Valentine was a martyr but not
a martyr for love, unless one counts
love of God, which has its own perks
but isn't quite the same. I do

not doubt that he knew earthly love
as well, no matter quite how holy
a saint he might have been. I do
not doubt that he was human as I.

Valentine never shared a box
of chocolates but I'm sure he would
have enjoyed it. I could see
him chewing a nougat as he composed

serious letters of hope, despite
prison walls about him, death
ahead. The season of his feast day
and his letter writing made

of him a saint of paper hearts,
a saint of lovers and of every
martyr with an empty mailbox.
Valentine would write each of them

a message of hope, if he could.

Stephen Brooke ©2011

For several years now, I've turned out a Valentine's Day poem -- usually a bit of light romantic pastiche. 'Romantic' in the broad sense, not the Romantic era; the actual style has tended more to Cavalier imitations. At any rate, I decided to try something somewhat different this time, something more modern, accentual but not strictly metered and, obviously, not rhymed. Composed quite rapidly and certainly open to revision!

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