Love has spawned a Valentine's Day industry that does, lets be honest, drive us all a little mad. But love has also generated some of the most beautiful (and saucy) poetry going. Here is an extract from one of my favourite poems, 'Valentine' by John Fuller:
The things about you I appreciate may seem indelicate:
I'd like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I'd like to have you in my power and see you eyes dilate.
I'd like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I'd like to successfully guess your weight and win you at a fte.
I'd like to offer you a flower.
I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders, too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I'd like all your particulars in folders marked Confidential).
I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath) in rows.
I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.
Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work, on hinges…
Having read this poem many years ago, I was delighted to come across it again in this article from the Guardian at the weekend in which writers (such as Jeanette Winterson and Hilary Mantell) select their favourite love poems. It's sure to bring a smile to the face of any sceptic this Valentine's day.
(If you are still not convinced then take a look at this frankly hillarious web article I found on the 10 least romantic London Valentine's dates. I'd be interested to see a US version, in case anyone has come across something similar…)