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My Favorite Valentine’s Day Poem

by on February 14, 2011

“Poor Timing”, by Phyllis McGinley.

I sing Saint Valentine, this day,
I spread abroad his rumor–
A gentleman, it’s safe to say,
Who owned a sense of humor.
Most practical of jokers, he,
Who bade sweethearts make merry
With flowers and birds and amorous words,
In the month of February.
The antic, frantic,
Middle of February.

Now, April weather’s fine and fair
For love to get a start in.
And May abets a willing pair,
And June you lose your heart in.
There’s many a month when wooing seems
Both suitable and proper.
But the mating call unseasonal
Is bound to come a cropper.

When blizzards rage with might and main
And a man’s best friend’s his muffler,
Pity the February swain,
That sentimental snuffler,
Whose soul must surge, whose pulse must throb
With passionate cadenza,
When he yearns instead for a cozy bed
Alone with influenza.

When winds blow up and snow comes down
And the whole gray world seems horrider,
And every lass that sulks in town
Thinks wistfully of Florider,
Pity the chapped and wintry maid
Who’d trade the arms that clasp her in
For Vitamin A and a nasal spray
And maybe a bottle of aspirin.

Who wants to bill, who cares to coo,
Who longs for cherry-chopping,
When noses are red and fingers blue
And the hemoglobin’s dropping?
Let summer lovers droop and pine,
Let springtime hearts be airy.
I wouldn’t be anyone’s Valentine
In the month of February.
The spare-able, terrible,
Quite unbearable
Middle of February.


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