Yesterday I listened to an anti-Valentine’s Day show on the radio. Then I read an anti-anti-Valentine’s Day advice column. What’s with all the hating on my second favorite holiday of the year?
Valentine’s Day is about love. That’s all there is to it. Yeah, love! It doesn’t have to be romantic love or hot sexy love or I-don’t-have-anyone-to love. If you love your parents or your siblings or your friends or your co-workers or your teachers or your dogs or even just the earth (and if not that, best find out what ails you), Valentine’s Day is worth celebrating. And celebrating doesn’t mean waiting for the roses to be delivered. Like any other concept connected to love, Valentine’s Day is about giving, not getting.
To celebrate, I went on a Valentine’s Day binge, Poem-Elf style. I left poems all over town. A little something for everyone.
At the food court in the mall, I left “What There Is” by Kenneth Patchen.
I sent this one to my kids. A message of love for everyone!
In the men’s underwear department of Macy’s I left Robert Creeley’s “Old Song.”
An Old Song with a new twist: men enjoy being desired as much as women do.
Target seemed like a good spot for poem-elfing today. I left “After Love” by Sara Teasdale in the make-up aisle.
I figured that if you’ve reached the end of a relationship, you just may want some new make-up to cheer yourself up.
For very romantic souls, I left “Although I Conquer All the Earth” on a path through the woods.
I hope the wind doesn’t blow it away before lovers canoodling in the woods find it.
For lovers who enjoy PDA, I left “So Let’s Live–Really Live ” in the city park.
The name of the statue behind the bench is Marshall Frederick’s “The Freedom of the Human Spirit.” Yes, indeed!
I passed an independent living building for seniors and left Grace Paley’s “Hand-Me-Downs.”
Who else can write about old lovers with such tenderness and whimsy?
I left Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Recipe for Happiness” in the flower department of the grocery store.
I hope the poem elevates an average-looking valentine bearing an average gift into something magical.
Finally, I left Lorca’s “Variation” for my own valentine on the window of his office.
We’ve been together since we were 17 and this poem reminds me of young love. And old love too, goldarnit.
Enjoy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Spread it around.