Valentine’s Day arrives again on a tide of chocolates, lingerie, flowers and candy hearts. Books aren’t in the cliche pantheon -- to their benefit. Maybe the way to impress a special sweetheart is with a fancy reissued classic or an unexpected paperback.
We’ve put together a list of a few good prospects; take a look.
In the meantime, here’s a classic from the mid-1800s; it’s by Christina Rossetti and called, for its first line, “I loved you first.”
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
There are more like that; the Poetry Foundation has a shortlist of major poems that express romantic, classic, LGBT, sad and erotic love. They have also created Valentine’s Day mini-poems that can be sent online and shared via social media, a few lines of text adorned with -- what else? -- romantic hearts and flowers.
Book news and more; I’m @paperhaus on Twitter