A Sonnet for St. Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Here is a sonnet I composed in honour of the original St. Valentine. I notice some FB posts implying that as an early Christian martyr he has nothing to do with Romantic Love and should be dissociated from it. I believe that on the contrary there is every reason why he should be the patron saint of Love and this sonnet explores why.

As always you can hear the poem by clicking on either the title or the ‘play’ button. This poem is published in my collection ‘Parable and Paradox’

St Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of love?

A quiet man of unexpected courage,

A celibate who celebrated marriage,

An ageing priest with nothing left to prove,

He loved the young and made their plight his cause.

He called for fruitfulness, not waste in wars,

He found a sure foundation, stood his ground,

And gave his life to guard the love he’d found.

Why should this martyr be our Valentine?

Perhaps because he kept his covenant,

Perhaps because, with prayer still resonant,

He pledged the Bridegroom’s love in holy wine,

Perhaps because the echo of his name

Can kindle love again to living flame.

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Filed under imagination

7 responses to “A Sonnet for St. Valentine

  1. peterjohnbowes

    Malcolm We met at Cliff College end of last year. You gifted to me an experience of and understanding of poetry that had passed me by for all of my 84 years. Thank you. Your Valentine sonnet also touched me – hearing you read it. For this also thank you. Peter

    *Dr Peter Bowes MBE * *Robin Hood View Cottage* *Winskill* *Penrith CA10 1PD* *Tell: 01768 881222* Mob:07802635500

  2. mary.dorey35@gmail.com

    Thanks for yesterday Kristi and Anthony,

    This sonnet written by a friend of mine (see photo) arrived a day late, but I’ll pass it on to you. You did a very good job of getting the family interested too. Perhaps we could meet tomorrow. I shall have Mike for lunch today because I had Chloe my cleaner (he had her too) yesterday. On Thursday I have Lucy and Friday Mike again. Afternoons are OK. But please let me have you all for a meal at Wetherspoons, – perhaps on Wednesday.

    Lots of love,

    Granny Mary XXXXXX

  3. Marlene

    I’m looking for a way to contact you about reprint permissions. Is there an email address where I can reach you? or you may contact me at truthandwrite88@gmail.com

  4. Malcolm, did you ever think to write a poem about St. Mungo, patron Saint of Glasgow? Such a rich pious tradition and story, waiting to be harvested.
    The Fish, the Bell, The Ring, St David, flight, exile, return.

    • malcolmguite

      Yes indeed. But my grandmother, Janetta Murray, got there first and published The Legendary of St. Mungo in 1923!

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