Here is a sonnet I composed in honour of the original St. Valentine. I notice some Facebook 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 most recent collection Parable and Paradox.

St Valentine

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.

Republished with gracious permission from Malcolm Guite’s website (February 2019).

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

Leave a Comment
Print Friendly, PDF & Email