I don’t know how I happened upon this poem by Esther Mathews.
It first appeared in Poetry Magazine, in November of 1938. Somewhere, a long time ago (Not that long ago. Please.), I wrote down the words, and I often think of these words on Valentine’s Day.
I do so love a good poem. And I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, however it’s expressed.
It’s Valentine’s Day and I promised you a heartfelt gift, so how about something classic? Something with romance, intrigue, politics, religion? Something like Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter?
Vicky’s YA novel was recently released in paperback, and to celebrate, she gave away several copies. But I already have a lovely, inscribed copy of Cleopatra’s Moon, so I’m giving her book to a lucky Valentine commenter.
I’ll be catching up with Vicky at a conference next weekend, so I’ll ask her to pen a lovely inscription for the winner, and then I’ll mail the book off to you. I know you’re going to love Cleopatra’s Moon, so get your comments in and I’ll pick a name next Thursday before I leave.
Actually, you’d love Vicky Alvear Shecter, too, but I’m afraid I can’t afford to mail her to you. (But you can visit her blog whenever you like.)
Happy Valentine’s, y’all! I so appreciate the writer love you share with me each and every day!
I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day.
I think it goes back to elementary school and the forced “share the love” march around the room where we all dutifully dumped valentines in every box so no one would feel bad. Even though everybody in the class (including the teachers) knew where everybody ranked, valentine-popularity-wise.
It was a pretty joyless day, right? So I’ve decided to take back Valentine’s Day. I’m going to share the love and have a little fun–and bring a little joy to my February 14th. How, you wonder? So glad you asked.
I talked Gladys into giving me a hand, er, wing… er, beak, with this pic:
Thank goodness for photogenic geese. Anyway, on February 14th, here at the blog, I’ll be sharing the writer love. As it happens, I have a signed copy of a really swell book I’ll be giving away to one lucky commenter. The author gets a little promotion love and the lucky commenter gets a little book love.
Oh! And here’s the fun part. I’m giving away this meme to you. Imagine that I just dropped Gladys in your decorated Valentine shoebox–and on February 14th, share the writer love any way you want.
That’s it! You don’t have to link back to me or tag me or mention me. I love surprises, and I’ll have fun finding Gladys popping up here or there. And if you’d rather not participate, that’s fine, too. Nobody’s forcing you to share the love on Valentine’s Day.
Because honestly, where is the joy in that?
True confession: I did not always want to be a writer. I was not one of those kids who scribbled stories all the livelong day. I was one of those kids who read stories. And books, poetry, comics, Mad Magazine and the back of the cereal box. I loved words; I ate ’em up like …well, sugar-coated cereal.
And I collected words, especially from songs. Sometimes, it would be a single word (I learned “syncopation” from The Music Man) and sometimes, it would be a funny phrase (Like Funiculi, Funicula. I only know the English words to that song, but turns out it’s Italian. Who knew?). I kept all these words in my head until it finally ocurred to me that I could write them down. Then, when I needed a word lift, I’d go to my notebook and read a poem or a quote or sing my favorite song lyrics.
I cannot tell you how many times I sat, listening to the same song over and over again, so I could get every single word copied down. Or how I would have to pay overdue fines because I’d checked out a book of poetry and hadn’t written down all of my favorite poems. I’d tear lines out of our Reader’s Digest or scribble a phrase on a piece of paper. Even now, I’ll write down a phrase or a line, or even a paragraph that pleases me, but I hardly ever tear something out of a magazine (Okay, that’s not true. But they’re my magazines, so it’s okay.).
And then, wham! The truth dawned on me today, as I was thinking of what to write on Valentine’s Day. The longest love affair of my life has been with words. But honestly, the Beneficent Mr. Hall runs a very close second.