February means Valentine’s Day, the season of the heart, so I’ve collected some love poems for you. Of course, there are famous ones, such as Elizabeth Barret Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways,” and W. H. Auden’s “The More Loving One.”
These poems are by contemporary poets as well as those who were writing long ago.
And poetry can come in other forms. In Australia, voters are preparing for a referendum on the “Uluru Statement from the Heart” giving a voice to the original inhabitants, the Aboriginal people.
A medley of poems and songs begin with one of my favorites, “The Reclining Gardener,” by fellow poet and blogger, David Selzer.
by Katherine Mansfield
Outside the sky is light with stars;
There’s a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.
How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.
Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.
We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.
Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.
Another writer and blogger, Diane M. Denton, has completed a novel about the poet Christina Rosetti. You can view Diane Denton’s blog here.
Christina Rosetti’s poem, “A Birthday” is a marvelous love poem.
The Look Sara Teasdale Strephon kissed me in the spring, Robin in the fall, But Colin only looked at me And never kissed at all. Strephon's kiss was lost in jest, Robin's lost in play, But the kiss in Colin's eyes Haunts me night and day. _____________ Serenade Djuna Barnes Three paces down the shore, low sounds the lute, The better that my longing you may know; I’m not asking you to come, But—can’t you go? Three words, “I love you,” and the whole is said— The greatness of it throbs from sun to sun; I’m not asking you to walk, But—can’t you run? Three paces in the moonlight’s glow I stand, And here within the twilight beats my heart. I’m not asking you to finish, But—to start. _____________ Wild Nights - Wild Nights! Emily Dickinson Wild Nights – Wild Nights! Were I with thee Wild Nights should be Our luxury! Futile – the winds – To a heart in port – Done with the compass – Done with the chart! Rowing in Eden – Ah, the sea! Might I moor – Tonight – In thee!
Here’s one to make of what you will: Hymn from a Watermelon Pavilion by Wallace Stevens
And The Beatles sing, “When I’m 64.”