Elizabeth: Words of Love

I was randomly perusing the internet earlier today when I came across a site full of images of old-time Valentine cards.  They brought back memories of grammar school where we decorated brown paper lunch bags with hearts and glitter and taped them onto the front of our desks, awaiting the annual delivery of Valentine cards.  The cards came from the dime-store, in a cardboard box, and the night before Valentine’s Day was spent addressing an envelope/card for each classmate (whether we liked them or not).

The cards were often corny, like the image in this post, and the sentiments expressed were not always meant, but it was always fun to open up the little stash of cards, especially those that included a sucker or candy heart in the envelope.

Based on my latest foray to the Hallmark store, Valentine’s cards have evolved a bit over the years, but are still just as popular.  I spent a happy hour perusing the cards which ran the gamut from amusing to treacle-sweet, with a few oddities in between.  I was actually at the store to get some birthday cards, but it was fun trying to decide which of the Valentine cards my fictional characters might give one another.

It was more difficult than I thought.

Although I found a number of cards with great images, the words inside just didn’t seem right.  Obviously if my heroes/heroines plan to give each other Valentine’s cards, they’re going to have to make their own, or at least write their own words.  In case they need some inspiration, I’ve included words of love from some of my favorite poets, as well a line from a song I heard on the drive home from work today that seemed like an excellent greeting card sentiment.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

“Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes”

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe

“Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields . . . “

“To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell

“. . . A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.”

 “Paradise Lost (Eve speaks to Adam)” by John Milton

“. . .With thee conversing I forget all time;
All seasons, and their change, all please alike. . .”

 “Love’s Philosophy” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

“. . . And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?”

“Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.”

From the Persian poet Hafez

“One regret, dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.”

“Sonnet CXVI” by Shakespeare

“Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests.. and is never shaken.”

So, what wonderful words of love have I missed?  What would I find on your Valentine’s card?

4 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Words of Love

  1. Thank you for these wonderful poems, Elizabeth. They are all so beautiful. And what was fun for me was to see how pop culture lyrics don’t really stack up in terms of grace and depth (not that they necessarily try to, don’t get me wrong). In fact, I think if I’d had the chance, I would have edited Ed Sheeran’s lyrics a little differently. Here we have in the original:

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    Be my girl, I’ll be your man
    I see my future in your eyes”

    But I hate that “girl” and “man” business, so I would have gone with this:

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    Be my girl, I’ll be your guy
    I see my future in your eyes”

    Because rhyming “guy” and “eyes” works perfectly well—as well as “hand” and “man.” I still hate the “girl,” and I’d like to stick to Ed’s original rhyming scheme. So maybe:

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    Our love’s like a burning brand…”

    Or

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    Our love is oh, so grand…”

    Or (for the gardeners out there)

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    We just need a plot of land
    I see my future in your eyes”

    Or (for beachcombers)

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    My shoes are now full of sand…

    Or (for political activists)

    “Darling, just hold my hand
    Join #MeToo and take a stand…

    Okay, now I’m getting silly. But that was fun. Sing on, Ed Sheeran! You (and the rest of the poets) have nothing to fear from me.

  2. Oh what fun! Well, Jack is definitely a romantic, and I think it’d be a big card with lots of velvet. Possibly homemade, and of course, with a frosty-ferny motif (flocked velvet?). He’d probably rely on the lyrics of a love song or an old poem. Quite possibly, from John Donne:

    Licence my roving hands, and let them go,
    Before, behind, between, above, below.
    O my America! my new-found-land,
    My kingdom, safeliest when with one man mann’d.

    Oh, yeah! Presented over a candlelit dinner with a nice piece of jewelry that shows he knows what Olivia likes.

    And Olivia would probably choose something very dime-storey, with vegetable based puns, possibly hidden all over the house and in his brief case. “Do you carrot all for me?” “Lettuce be lovers!” “I cabbage about you sometimes, but olive you very much!”

    • Michaeline, I love Olivia’s vegetable-based puns. What fun!.

      Also, that quote by John Donne has been a favorite of mine since I read it in, if I’m not mistaken, Jenny’s Crazy For You with the poetry-quoting mechanic with an English degree.

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