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Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm


Post by Jeff Thorpe » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:34 pm

It's nearly here. Love is in the air. Have your cards and flowers ready.
© Jeff Thorpe 05 January 2018

14th February every year, the day all lovers enshrine,
on the liturgical calendar, the feast of Saint Valentine
however, t’was not the saint who sponsored romantic affection,
more the writing of Geoffrey Chaucer, the first recorded connection.
His poem Parliament of Fowls , written in century fourteen
is a far cry from what Nestle and Hallmark today purport to mean.
I ask you, how a fable about erotic actions of birds
can spawn riches spent largely on cards with soppy words.

UK in 2015, I.9 billion spent on chocolate, cards and flowers,
passion from the wallets deserving of cold showers,
One thirty-one dollars, US average spend in 2013,
one o eight in 2010, ardour perhaps then not so keen?
Whatever, one can see Valentine’s day a retail bonanza,
not far behind Christmas shopping extravaganza.
Just another ritual for commercialism to mistreat,
where an occasion’s true meaning mostly takes a back seat.

Not that any fondness meant much to Al Capone
in the St Valentine’s day massacre, in crime lore well known.
1929 in Chicago, seven men gunned down
by Capone’s henchmen in the north side of town,
part of prohibition gang war ‘tween Capone and Bugs Moran
yet target Moran was absent which extended his life span.
A front page “affair” befitting of the day
though surely no tenderness as blood began to spray.

Hamlet’s hapless Ophelia shows some hopeful Valentine caring
only to find her state of affairs closer to despairing :

"Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day
All the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose and donned his clothes
And dupped the chamber door.
Let in the maid that out a maid
Never departed more"

Hardly lovey dovey, this message from the Bard,
more “Wham bam, thank you Mam", then hastily discard.
Yet Romeo’s feelings for Juliet display a different light
in "Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright"
and Cleopatra and Antony, lovers in each other immersed
reveal the poet’s unmatched skill depicting romance versed.

But, I digress, this missive does not seek to deal with Shakespeare
rather adulation for the one that we hold dear,
forgetting cynical judgement of marketing of the day,
being someone’s valentine bestows the special way
that love’s blossoming flourish casts anything else aside
and to think otherwise is like trying to stop the tide
so, let us be generous, join with lovers to celebrate
and maybe change a world carrying pockets of hate.

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