Kicking It for Feb. 14


Last updated 2/14/2022 at 5:55pm

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to the Village News

It is just a few days away “when every foul (fool) cometh ther to choose his mate,” Chaucer, “Parliament of Foules,” ca 1370. Love abounds as Valentine’s Day approaches.

For instance, when Bill Shakespeare got into the love game at the end of the 1500’s, he laid it down with “if music be the food of love, play on” in “Twelfth Night”.

Though later in the next century, and not to be out done, Francois VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, noted for his witty maxims wrote, “love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen,” so said he in the middle of the 1600’s.

It wasn’t until a century later when in one spring in the early 1700’s that birdwatchers noted in mid-February that birds pick their mates for the breeding season, thus the expression ‘love birds.’ And there it is. History dates about this time when the first decorated cards were sent on Feb. 14 bearing anonymous words of love simply signed, “your Valentine.”

A hundred years later, Elizabeth Barret Browning opened with, “How do I love thee?” which coincided with Robert Browning’s, “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”

During that same time, Emily Dickinson dropped, “Till I loved, I never lived” which is topped by Tennyson’s, “She walks in beauty…”

In the next century, F. Scott Fitzgerald made a cake of himself writing, “I love her and that is the beginning of everything.”

Yet that too has been surpassed by none other than Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) who wrote “you know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

And now in this 21st century, 29-year-old Rupi Kaur from Punjab India, writes, “you might not have been my first love, but you were the love that made all other loves seem irrelevant.”

Now you have everything you need to stay out of love jail come the 14th of February.

Still my favorite declaration of devotion comes from Syria’s National Poet and Diplomat, Nizar Qabbana, “Because my love for you is beyond words, I decided to shut up.”

There you have it. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]


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