“Je suis desja d’amour tanné” (I am already sick of love), “Ma tres doulce Valentinée” (my very gentle Valentine)
Charles, Duke of Orleans, was imprisoned in the Tower of London after being captured by the Brits during the Battle of Agincourt. The year was 1415. The love note was sent to Bonne of Armagnac, his wife. She died before these words of love reached her. They are forever preserved in the British Library. A loving Valentine message sent that would remain unopened by the recipient, yet it has been viewed by hundreds of people, keeping this love alive.
“The rose is red, the violet’s blue, The honey’s sweet and so are you.” Yep, that little poem is from the 1784. It began life as a nursery rhyme. The poem’s origins reach back in time to Sir Edmund Spenser’s 1590 epic, The Faerie Queene. “She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew, and all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.”
Shoppers look for that perfect card or gift. Always they look for words to express their feelings. Words written by someone else. If you are like me, the verse means very little. Those words written by hand at the bottom of the verse are those treasured. As my son said, “Don’t send me a card if you don’t write in it.” Yes, those are the words that are important. They need not be poetic. They need not flow in rhyme. Sometimes just the word ‘love’ written by hand is enough.
I run my finger across the words and hold the card to my face. In her flourished writing, she tells me she loves me. As my fingers touch the lovely words, I am once again with my mother. It is as close as I can get now, but I know that her hand wrote each letter as loved filled her heart for a daughter who lived far away. The love in those words, in her writing, still holds me close to her. They are all I have left and are more treasured than those in the British Museum. For these words are meant for me only.
We all need to express words of love. Words from our own hearts written in our own hands, spoken in our own words, recognizing that love is an action word needing to be said and needing to be heard.
In the 17th century, Shakespeare expressed it beautifully in his play Hamlet. Ophelia waits, “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.