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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

14 February, 2005

For Valentine, saint of love

Valentine, sweet saint of love,
was beaten to a pulp in Rome -
third century barbarism - he was clubbed,
I've heard, from bare toes to bald dome.

Valentine, brave saint of love,
didn't listen to the voice of reason -
Claudius II, the emperor had said -
"Can't have too much love this season.

"I've got to build an empire here,
this little army needs more soldiers."
But Valentine, foolish saint of love,
didn't listen: he was crushed with boulders.

The soldiers, you see, had lovers (mostly women);
and going to war would cause much sorrow.
But Claudius II would have no truck with 'love' -
"Lurrvee... bah! We march on the morrow!"

The Romans, it is said, were great ones for war,
but these young men, they were love-lorn.
And though Claudius II cancelled all weddings,
else they couldn't from women's arms be torn.

Valentine, saint of love, rebellious priest,
cared not for the royalty that held sway.
He married and married and married the lovers,
until the soldiers showed up and took him away.

Valentine, saint of love, was not to be crushed;
in prison, he carried on, unabashed.
This time, the jailer's daughter was smitten;
he left a note before his head got mashed.

The note, it was signed 'From your Valentine'.
Then he died - the priest with the spirit unbent.
But he showed us - love and courage are sisters.
St Valentine taught us how to love, before he went.

(c) Annie Zaidi, Feb 14, 2005.



Blogger Ashish Gorde said...

I like the way you weaved humour and seriousness in this poem.

15 February, 2005 17:35  
Blogger SPECKLED_BAND said...

Makes me immensely glad that someone got around to writing about the hapless saint. And you've done it exceedingly well!!! Almost tempted to rename the poem "The Ballad of Saint Valentine"!

15 February, 2005 23:18  
Blogger raindanseuse said...

Yes, this does have the mournful tone of a ballad. In fact, It's been a while since I've read a poem on caferati with an in-built narrative. It's quite refreshing. The humour has been slipped in nicely; it leaves you smiling through your tears.

17 February, 2005 12:08  

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