I don’t know what this flower is, but it’s got a hearts-and-ashes coloration befitting today’s unusual dual-celebration (Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, in case you didn’t know).
One note before I get to my annual Valentine’s Day Poem Blitz: I usually include a range of poems for all different kinds of Valentines, but not this year. These are all romantic if not downright erotic. No poems for Galentines and Palentines, no poems for lovers of nature and animals, no Christina Rossetti I’m-going-to-jump-in-the-river-and-drown poems. In a few weeks I’ll put up a separate Love Hurts post, and if I dig up enough poems about platonic love, I’ll do a Friendship Poem Blitz as well.
On with the show.
At a construction site in downtown Hanalei, Kauai, I left “Song” by W.H. Auden on a handicapped parking sign.
I don’t think I’d have a place in this lighthearted litany of what a person will do to “keep his date with Love” . . . I’m more of a wait-till-I-finish-drying-the-dishes gal . . . but I salute the fevered ones who can leave a task undone to get to the fun business.
A grocery store Valentine display was a good spot to put “The Revelation” by Coventry Patmore. The poem is balanced on top of a bottle of wine called Cupcake.
Here, the essence of all romantic fantasies:
Love wakes men, once a lifetime each;
They lift their heavy lids, and look
As a counterpoint to Patmore’s idea of “once a lifetime each,” I placed Susanna Styve’s “Mother in Love at Sixty” outside the same grocery store in a cart.
Methinks she doth protest too much . . .
Here’s Hanalei’s bookstore. I set “The Love Cook” by Ron Padgett on top of a Chinese cookbook. An hour later when I came back it was gone.
The most romantic words in the world?
Let me cook you some dinner.
I stuck “To Helen About Her Hair” by Robinson Jeffers in the bristles of a brush in the personal care aisle of the Hanalei grocery store. The gentleman to the right is inexplicably studying women’s hygiene products, but at least he didn’t bat an eye at my elf-ing.
If hair care bores you, think about this the next time you drag a brush through your locks:
I bid you comb it carefully,
For my soul is caught there,
Wound in the web of it.
“Are You Tired of Me, My Darling?” is poised on top of a trashcan.
This poem could fit in the Love Hurts post just as well as it does here, depending on the beloved’s answer to the question posed.
“Toast” by Leonard Nathan is nestled in a big piece of driftwood on Hanalei Bay.
I love this toast to a stranger never seen:
Love, whoever you are,
your courage was my companion
And finally, I put Kenneth Rexroth’s “A Dialogue of Watching” at the base of this traditional statue outside a surf shop.
Today of all days, let every lover say to the beloved
I have never known any
One more beautiful than you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Celebrate love and spread it around.