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Valentines Day Linkenings: Love Poems on Slate

February 14, 2011
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One of my favorite online Valentines Day traditions is Robert Pinsky’s mini-anthology on Slate.com, poems “that go beyond the Hallmark sweetness of teddy bears with pink boxers or mail-order flowers” and Pinsky’s perceptive little comments about them.

2005’s poems were simply an eclectic mix of Pinsky’s favorites.

It was all impatience with love in 2006–poems with “a note of exasperation that seeps into the declaration of passion.”

In 2007, the poems were light on the sugar but thick with sex.

They must have forgotten till the last minute that Valentines Day was coming in 2008 because Slate bagged out and printed a poem from each of the previous years’ articles.

In 2009, someone forgot Valentines Day altogether.

Love was often messy, difficult, contorted, disturbing, and out of control in 2010.

This year, Pinsky compares a couple of love poems by Philip Sidney and Ernest Dowson.  Poems of innocence and decadence, he calls them.

And the Slate staff makes that one missing year up to us with a couple of dozen of their writers and editors linking favorite love poems with a paragraph or two of love for those poems. (The comment thread below this one isn’t bad, either.)

So there you go.  Happy Valentines Day, all.

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