Poetry & Prose: Valentine verses

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I love poetry. I also love love poetry – if you get my meaning?! It is such a beautiful way to express such a turbulent emotion. Love takes us on so many journeys, in so many different ways, throughout our lives that is really is no surprise that it used by poets and songwriters time and time again.

Did you know that poetry is one of the oldest forms of art? It predates written text and the earliest poetry is believed to have been recited or sung to help remember history. It has covered so many subjects over time, but I think that the best known of those is love and, of course, with Valentine’s Day upon us this week, I thought I would take a look at this beautiful, passionate, tender, adoring, yearning, emotional, sentimental, subject. 

Love for your partner

The sonnet was the original love poem and the most famous writer for these is, of course, Shakespeare. Each sonnet has it’s own style and rhyme scheme but it is the sort of poetry that flows beautifully and mimics the pattern of speech. 

Love can be expressed in so many ways. I particularly like the way William Wordsworth described romantic love when he said:

I have said before that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin in emotion recollected in tranquility: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind. 

Beautifully expressed.

Of course, throughout the years there have been countless songs written about the subject and I really enjoyed reading the way that Jo at Jo’s Writing Space put together a poem using song titles. 

Love can be in all the small things too. I can recall writing a poem called ‘Detail’ which celebrates the small things that my other half does for me. 

There are also poems celebrating engagements and weddings. This poem, Love is Love, written by Sarah at Arthur Wears is celebrating the engagement of her brother and his boyfriend is simply beautiful. 

Love and separation

Love can also leave you broken or deflated. It can hurt – whether it be unrequited or continued love from one person after a separation.

Whether it be poetry, prose or short fiction, it is regularly written about. The latest piece I have read on this particular type of love is from Tracy at One Frazzled Mum and a piece entitled ‘The Grass Isn’t Always Greener‘. I do hope she expands on it as I would love to know what happens next! 

Love and children

As a parent, you have an unconditional love for your children. I have recently written a poem called ‘Love Divine‘ on this very subject – and the fact that, even when they move away, you will never stop loving them and wanting to protect them.

Another poem on the subject of protecting your children is this wonderful one from Emma at Free From Farmhouse called Breastfeeding with Allergies which shows just what you would put yourself through for them. 

Then, of course, they get bigger and start school and you try and show an interest. I can distinctly remember when Grace first started school and regularly asking her what she had done that day. I always got the same answer. Nothing. I love how Joanne Dewberry’s daughter, Megan, aged 10, has expressed her feelings on this very subject!

Dawn, my former co-editor, also signed off her final farewell over on her Facebook page for her blog as her children have now started school. Beautifully put by her. She will be sadly missed. 

Love and food

Taking a different direction now and there is also many pieces written about our love for food. I am certain that many foods can be compared to love in lots of different ways. I love this piece from Marija Smits on how you can use bread as an analogy for love.

I think chocolate has to be my absolute favourite though and can recall many poems about the wonderful stuff including one from the lovely Lisa at Lisa’s Life called Dear Chocolate as well as a poem from another of my former editors, Maddy, about anything sweet and making sure it is all things in ‘Moderation‘ (you are both missed, Lisa and Maddy!).

In other news….young poets

Before Christmas I was working with Premier League Writing Stars. The Premier League ran their annual poetry competition for schools inviting two groups of pupils – one for Key Stage 1 and one for those in Key Stage 2 – to submit their entries based on Diversity and celebrating and, of course, loving our differences. The judges include former Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and poet Joseph Coelho. Plus, Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate) will guest judge all Welsh-language entries. All judging will be overseen by National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas.  The winners will be announced next month and I am hoping to go to a very special event a bit later in the year to launch a book containing all of the national and regional winning poems, as well as contributions from celebrities. Watch this space! 

That’s all folks! 

That is it for this month. In the meantime, if you would like to link up with your original poems to Prose for Thought then the linky is open until 21st February. If you have anything you would like to submit for the next round-up then please email me at [email protected]

I will be back on 6th March so see you then! 

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About Victoria Welton

Victoria is a forty something Mum to Grace and Rex, partner to writer and actor Ross and lives in the beautiful countryside of Somerset. A blogger since 2012, she has been writing poetry and lyrics for years and has been lucky enough to perform two of her songs on stage. You can find her blog at Verily Victoria Vocalises. From there she runs a poetry link ‘Prose For Thought’on the first Thursday of every month. She is also a professional photographer, having started her business on her return from maternity leave.