Poets Corner: Rosemerry x 4 for Valentine’s Day

Poets Corner: Rosemerry x 4 for Valentine’s Day

History.com offers up “6 Surprising Facts About Valentine’s Day,” including the fact that St. Valentine was likely more than one person and that a medieval English poet might have invented Cupid’s Big Day.

“The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work ‘Parliament of Foules,’ he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, ‘For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today…’

For the other 5 interesting factoids, continue reading here.

Even if the “Valentine ” handle applies to more than one person in history, it is a well-documented fact that folks adopted a “Valentine” as the patron saint of love and romance – including  one of Telluride’s favorite poets, the lovely Word Woman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, who loves unconditionally, even when feeling threatened in “That’s Why We Practice”; explores why we love in “Wish”; immerses herself in the mystery of those feelings in “After She Told Me the Question She Asks Herself”; but always beautifully and completely in each of her wonderful poems (below). And, in these especially challenging times when good vibrations seems to have gotten lost in the fog of warring words, what’s love got to do with it? As her fourth poem suggests: Everything.

Rosemerry & Dad.

That’s Why It’s Practice

Easier to keep open the doors of the heart
when a feathery breeze comes through, or
the scent of lavender, or slant of sun. Harder

when a wounded tiger comes in. Of course,
the impulse then is to run it out and close
the doors. Lock them. Barricade and block them.

But now is the time to take those locks
to the second hand store and to pull the chairs
away from the door and place them at the table,

then pour two cups of water. Say grace.
Let the tiger pace. And always, I pace, too.
Of course, I’m afraid it will hurt me.

That’s what wounded tigers do. And when
the inevitable happens, it’s hard to not wish
it were some other way. And it’s tempting

to lock those doors. But when I do, I quickly
note the lack of light in here, I want
for lavender, I rue how very stale the air.

Rather to die by tiger claw than live cut off from love.
Even now the wounds are raw, but oh, the breeze,
it touches them, and how soft it licks at my chest, my cheek.


Perhaps because I am cold
I want to bring you warmth—
isn’t that how it goes?
We wish for each other
what we most want for ourselves.
And so I wish you real love,
the kind that is as familiar
as brushing your teeth, as spectacular
as the sky tonight drenching the world
in pink just before
the dark took everything.

After She Told Me the Question She Asks Herself
for Jude Janett

All day, I replay these words:
Is this the path of love?
I think of them as I rise, as
I wake my children, as I wash dishes,
as I drive too close behind the slow
blue Subaru, Is this the path of love?
Think of them as I stand in line
at the grocery store,
think of them as I sit on the couch
with my daughter. Amazing how
quickly six words become compass,
the new lens through which to see myself
in the world. I notice what the question is not.
Not, “Is this right?” Not,
“Is this wrong?” It just longs to know
how the action of existence
links us to the path to love.
And is it this? Is it this? All day,
I let myself be led by the question.
All day I let myself not be too certain
of the answer. Is it this? I ask as I
argue with my son. Is it this? I ask
as I wait for the next word to come.

On a Day When the World Has Its Way With Me

Like every day, this day
it is clear that only love
will save us. Not in the grandiose

abstract way, but in the alarmingly
specific way. As in forgiveness, now.
As in choosing to hold our own hand instead

of swinging back. As in taking
three deep breaths before saying
something we regret. Love saves us

from thirsting in the desert of our lives,
but only if we save it first by
choosing it, now in this moment

of angry words, now in this moment
of clenched thoughts, now in
this moment when we’d rather

taste venom, but instead, we
pour love into our cup and
bring it to our lips and drink

and drink until once again
only love makes sense,
only love refills the cup.


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