Poetry Friday: Valentine Reflections

poetry friday logoPoetry Friday is being hosted this week by Kimberley Moran at Written Reflections.

Last night my husband told me he’d made a reservation for dinner on Saturday. Usually, the realization that it’s Valentine’s comes too late. Which is never a concern, but this year he remembered.

Caught by the spirit and Poetry Friday, I picked up Ted Kooser’s Valentines. I love this collection. It contains his annual Valentine poems that started in 1986. The first, Pocket Poem, he sent to 50 women friends. Kooser continued the tradition every Valentines to a growing list of women for twenty-two years.

Pocket Poem by Ted Kooser

If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
as if I’d opened it a thousand times
to see if what I’d written here was right,
it’s all because I looked too long for you
to put in your pocket. Midnight says
the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
by nervous fingers. What I wanted this
to say was that I want to be so close
that when you find it, it is warm from me.


Poetry pushes on the personal and private; the inner workings of what makes us tick.

It forces me to pay attention.

.I Know

Each year passes
and I know
the quiet acceptance, the comfort that presence provides.
I know
the beat, the rhythm, steadfast in the present.
Created over time.
I know
you will be here and there
with me.









10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Valentine Reflections

  1. I love that book of Ted Kooser’s. He is a master. I met him once when he was the poet laureate. He has a great book on writing poetry with a title like the poetry home repair manual. Your poetic response is lovely too.

  2. Love these, especially these lines from “Pocket Poem”:
    >>to say was that I want to be so close
    that when you find it, it is warm from me.<<
    I didn't know about the book VALENTINES. I'm definitely going to look for it. Thanks!

  3. Ted Kooser’s voice in his poems speaks so loudly to me, and it is wonderful the tradition he’s started, isn’t it? I love your own response, too, Julieanne, love lines to your husband.

  4. Your response speaks to me Julieanne: “Poetry pushes on the personal and private; the inner workings of what makes us tick./It forces me to pay attention”. Poetry gives breath to our inner voice. Thanks for sharing the power of poetry with Kooser’s thoughts and your own.

  5. I love poetic traditions…thank you for telling us about Ted Kooser’s. What a challenge it must be to write such a personal poem for such a large group! I mean, all poets do that in a sense, but sending a valentine’s poem directly to a person (and another and another…) seems out-of-the-ordinary.

  6. I really do not have enough poetry books. I was never interested in poetry, but now I adore it. I’m going to check out this book. I love the pocket one so much.

  7. I don’t know this book, but reading these, I want to own it. I love the second poem. So beautiful and captures, I think, what most people ache for.

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