I know that there are many people who adore Valentine's Day and all its lacy, chocolate-dipped, petal-strewn trimmings . . .
. . . and that there are probably just as many who abhor said trimmings . . .
. . . and that there are still others who fall somewhere in between.
I also know that one's feelings about this holiday tend to change with one's own romantic fortunes on a given February 14th. There have been years when I swore myself forever an enemy of that cursed day, and other years when I swooned at the thought of twelve long stems.
For the past 18 years since I married my husband, I've appreciated the sweet gestures shared on this day, but no more, in truth, than those shared on any of the other 364 days of the year. Still, a handmade card or a thoughtful trinket discovered on my breakfast plate on what here in Maine is inevitably a cold, grey, sleety~slushy day does much to warm my hopelessly romantic magpie heart.
It is in that spirit that I share with you links to a small sampling of some of my favorite love poems (in no particular order) . . . to excerpt, quote in full, use as you will--when you will--on Valentine's Day or any old day when you want to show a beautiful soul the fullness of your heart.
Oh, and as a side note, a wonderful writing exercise is to take a favorite line or two from one of these poems and use it as inspiration to begin your own poem, just as Billy Collins does in "Litany," which you'll find among the others below.
I could go on for ages with more of my favorites, but I would like to leave room for you to toss a few of your own into the comments. Please feel free!