Saint Valentine

14 Feb

[a whimsical poem to celebrate the love legacy of Saint Valentine, written by Marianne Moore 63 years ago, published in The New Yorker on Feb. 13, 1960, dedicated by me to all of us who love poetry and dare to love love on Valentine’s Day 2023.]

Saint Valentine

permitted to assist you, let me see..

     If those remembered by you

are to think of you and not me.

     it seems to me that the momento

    or compliment that you bestow

should have a name beginning with ‘V’

such as Vera, El Greco’s only

     daughter (though it has never been

that he had one). Her starchy 

     veil, inside chiffon: the stone in her

     ring, like her eyes, one hand on

her snow leopard wrap, the fur widely

dotted with black. It could be a vignette—

     a replica, framed oval—

bordered by a vine or a vinelet.

    Or give a mere flower, said to mean the

    love of truth or truth of

love—in other words, a violet.

Verse—unabashedly bold—is appropriate;

     and always it should be as neat

as the most careful writer’s ‘8,’

    Any valentine that is written 

Is as the vendange to the vine. 

    Might verse not best confuse itself with fate?

Marianne Moore

One Response to “Saint Valentine”

  1. Suryanath Prasad February 14, 2023 at 11:46 pm #

    Man-Making Universal Education for Justice and Peace
    Dr. Surya Nath Prasad – TRANSCEND Media Service

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