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Sunday, 12 February 2012

With apologies to those who hate Valentine's Day

Are my friends in Kent aware that some of the earliest poetry regarding St. Valentine's Day is from John Gower of Kent? Here is a snippet (1400, after Chaucer) in which the Dame Elizabeth Brews writes to her cousin about his wanting to marry her daughter:
 And, cousin mine, upon Monday is Saint Valentine's Day and every bird chooses himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.

And, we have Chaucer's earlier famous line from The Parlement of Foules (1382):
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day  Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

I guess the Medievals were not chicken about giving valentines. Sorry, had to say that....Take the poll on the side...Will you give or get a valentine?