I Give You An Onion

Happy Valentines Day!

It is a curious thought but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize how much you love them.

Agatha Christie

When I too long have looked upon your face

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

When I too long have looked upon your face,
Wherein for me a brightness unobscured
Save by the mists of brightness has its place,
And terrible beauty not to be endured,
I turn away reluctant from your light,
And stand irresolute, a mind undone,
A silly, dazzled thing deprived of sight
From having looked too long upon the sun.
Then is my daily life a narrow room
In which a little while, uncertainly,
Surrounded by impenetrable gloom,
Among familiar things grown strange to me
Making my way, I pause, and feel, and hark,
Till I become accustomed to the dark.


ATTENTION – I am interrupting our normally scheduled programming for an important Poetry Service Announcement.  Tomorrow is Valentines Day!  And if Agatha is right, then it is the perfect day to get a little silly.  Don’t fall for the Hallmark trap and buy a Valentine card, get out some construction paper, paper lace doilies, stickers and glue, better yet some glitter, and get to work.  It’s not about perfection, its about expressing yourself and your love of your valentine in your best DIY valentine self.  Then, once the masterpiece is finished in whatever form it has taken, its time to profess your love in words on the back.  My suggestion, don’t screw up your masterpiece trying to do it off the cuff, write it out on white paper in a size that will fit and glue or tape it to the back, that way if you ruin the draft you can re-write it and not disturb your artwork. 

While the glitter is drying, now’s the perfect time for you to muster your courage and write a poem.  But if suddenly you have a little case of writers block, here’s a couple of tips on writing poetry for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. 

Tip #1 – Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, only works if the third line is either silly, but connects the two of you, or kind, but the fourth line HAS TO BE, “And I Love You.”  If you deploy this sure proof poem in any other way, it will likely backfire you right onto the couch. 

Tip #2 – If you are willing to go out on a limb, and write an original love poem, try going freestyle all Lorca on your Valentine.  Think  surreal love fest about the favorite place you and your lover share and make it a metaphor for your shared sensuality and free associate and see what happens.  Have it end with something about “insert a piece of anatomy here” you want to “kiss” or “caress”, that is “pure crystalline love” and you are likely setting the bar pretty high for the evenings festivities and next years Valentine’s Day poem.

Tip #3 – If you aren’t in the poem writing mood, then use the internet to find the perfect love sonnet.  Heck, you might even find one on Fourteenlines.   Between Shakespeare, Cummings and Millay, you should be able to score the perfect one.  Don’t print it out on your computer.  Hand write it (Pro-tip – remember – write small its 14 lines) and sign it and you’ll have a keeper that your Valentine will hold on to forever. 

Tip #4 – If you screw up and its last minute on Monday afternoon and you haven’t gotten anything for your lover, stop at the grocery store, buy some flowers, chocolate and an onion.  And give your lover all three and then get down on one knee and recite the poem below off your smart phone and I guarantee you will worm your way into their heart…

Happy Valentines Day!


by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.