Monday, February 13, 2012

Love is Blind


image borrowed from bing

Love Is Blind

There is nothing trifling about Valentine’s Day,
born blindfolded in the blood of martyrs
as Roman emperors quashed romantic
relationships, passing laws ordering young men,
in the fullness of their sexuality, to remain single,
to tremble only for battle as legionnaires,

but Saint Valentine understood that love
was never endemic as he made matrimonial
chimes ring softly, secretly, yet was unable
to quell the sweet burbling from reaching the
royal ears of Claudius II, who had Valentine
arrested and imprisoned;

legend has it that on the eve of his execution,
the fledgling saint sent a hand-written card
to the blind daughter of his jailer, signing it
as her Valentine, and though stillborn, this
affection healed her blindness.

It was of course Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382
who spoon-fed the aristocracy romantic rhubarb,
and this courtly influx of love-snippets led
steadfastly to the canonization of fat cherubs
who ambushed couples with their love-darts,
roses, and chocolate confections, propelling
love to a zenith of popularity within America
in 1847 as embossed paper lace cards became
mass produced.

As for me, even though I know love can bitch-slap
you senseless, can even lead to madness, still
I find myself joyfully tithing to the mewing gods
of hallmark, while recalling my Shakespeare:

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day,
all in the morning betime,
and I am a maid at your window
to be your valentine.--Ophelia.

Glenn Buttkus

February 2012

Listed as #1 over at Monday Melting-Week 6

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glenn, this is such an awesome account of the holiday's history. I just read a "poem" about this topic the other day; perhaps I'll share it on my blog and link back to yours. It's from a book called "Severed," which you simply must read. You would absolutely love it.

I really enjoyed this, Glenn. Thanks for participating!

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Mark Windham said...

Well done sir. A good read. Anytime you can work in 'bitch-slap', it is a good day.

Edryce Reynolds said...

I'm reading them! I like the Valentine one best.

Edryce

Paul Bauck said...

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm sure FTD and Hallmark appreciate your advertising. Doing something special with your honey tomorrow?
Paul

Ginny said...

This is fantastic--in all the senses of the word. Captivating details, seemingly effortless use of Shawna's list and wonderful blend of history, anecdotal legend, and contemporary pain.

Brian Miller said...

nice....great references throughout glenn...love the shakepeare at the end...i am for any day that celebrates love but if we got to have a holiday for it----eehhhhh....smiles...i think any day is just as good for love...

Claudia said...

i too love the shakespeare at the end...well done glenn

Chris G. said...

You successfully worked "bitch-slap" into a poem. I think that's called winning, good sir.

hedgewitch said...

Enjoyed the narrative, and the vivid use of language and image throughout. Perfect quote at the end, also.

Divalounger said...

Great write--I enjoyed it immensely!

@AudreyHowitt

Pat Hatt said...

Wonderful references and taken into affect the real history of the day, nicely put!

Jebbi said...

awesome write....being bitch slapped by love ...lol..loved that.

Ann Grenier said...

Great, Glenn. You have covered it all: the legend, the history, politics, and the economics of our modern day frenzy as well as our buy-in as we grumble. I'm in the Ba-Humbug camp.

Bar None Publishing Group said...

Yours is a history lesson that resonates Glenn. Bravo!