Sentient in San Francisco – 14 February 2019: Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Below – Tivadar Csontvary Kosztka (Hungarian, 1853-1919): “Rendezvous of Lovers” (1902)

Art for Valentine’s Day – Sandro Botticelli: “The Birth of Venus”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Charles M. Schultz

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Gustav Klimt: “The Kiss”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

“since feeling is first”
by E. E. Cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
– the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

Below – Robert Archibald Graafland: “Young love”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Suzuki Harunobu: “Lovers Walking in the Snow”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Melanie White

“Remember your Valentine’s card shows you care enough to send the very best, even though you’re too lazy to put it in your own words.”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Venice Clay Artists: “Psyche admiring a sleeping Cupid”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Lawrence Durrell

“Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the place where he was hanged.”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

by Doug Ramspeck
“The Marriage We Carried in Our Pockets”

Or sometimes watched drifting with the leaves,
some last confetti of yellow or brown. Or it existed

the way the juncos huddled beneath the thistle
feeder in winter, in the way the clouds spilled water

in May to soak the ground. Once we found it
in the attic in a steamer trunk, and another time

we closed it in a suitcase and drove it across
the countryside to Ohio. And often we imagined that

the years were a locked door against which
we kept knocking to be admitted. And on the dresser

of the new house, I spilled the change of the marriage
into a heap, and later we sat on the back porch and watched

the nuptial clouds on their conveyor belts. And we slept
at night with the breaths of the marriage around us.

Below – Etruscan Wall Relief of a Couple in Vulci, Italy.

Art for Valentine’s Day – Pierre-Auguste Cot: “Spring”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Richard Jeni

“Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you’re in.”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Bernard Kapfe: “Lovers”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Will Ferrell

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are.”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Frederick Leighton: “The Fisherman and the Syren”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

“Heart to Heart”
by Rita Dove

It’s neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn’t melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can’t feel

It doesn’t have
a tip to spin on,
it isn’t even
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
“I want, I want”—

but I can’t open it:
there’s no key.
I can’t wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it’s all yours, now—
but you’ll have
to take me,

Below – Tatyana Ilieva: “Good Morning”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Antonio Canova: “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Henny Youngman

“You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it.”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

She has painted her lips
hibiscus pink.
The upper lip dips
perfectly in the center

like a Valentine heart.
It makes sense to me—
that the lips, the open

ah of the mouth
is shaped more like a heart
than the actual human heart.
I remember the first time I saw it—

veined and shiny
as the ooze of a snail—
if this were what
we had been taught to draw

how differently we might have
learned to love.

Art for Valentine’s Day – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: “In Bed, The Kiss”

Musings on Valentine’s Day: Honore de Mirabeau

“Love has the power of making you believe what you would normally treat with the deepest suspicion.”

Below – John William Waterhouse: “The Siren”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

“Married Love”
by Kuan Tao-sheng

You and I
Have so much love
That it
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.

Note: In the words of one writer, “Kuan Tao-sheng (1262-1319) was famous not only as a poet, but also as a calligrapher and painter. She was the wife of Chao Meng-fu, one of the most famous calligraphers and painters in Chinese history.”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Theodor Lundborg: “Waves and Rock”

A Poem for Valentine’s Day

by Mark Irwin

When we could no longer walk or explore, we decided to wear

the maps and would sit talking, pointing to places, sometimes

touching mountains, canyons, deserts on each other’s body,

and that was how we fell in love again, sitting next to

each other in the home that was not our home, writing letters

with crooked words, crooked lines we handed back and forth,

the huge hours and spaces between us growing smaller and smaller.

Below – Auguste Rodin: “The Kiss”

Art for Valentine’s Day – Frank Bernard Dicksee: “The End of the Quest”

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