Buy a book of poetry… no seriously, you should buy many books of poetry and not just those Best of… compilations. Best possible gift would be to buy a book of poetry directly from the publisher. For a sure bet, check out Copper Canyon’s catalog – they’ve been supporting poets for a long long time and they publish beautiful books. If you’d like to leave your favorite press in the comments, I’d love to hear about some others (and oh yes, I have many other presses that I love).
(P.S. Buying a book of poetry is a Valentine twofer – you get the gift of beautiful poetry, and a poet gets the gift of having someone appreciate his/her work).
Memorize a poem and read it out loud to your poet lover. This serves two purposes: 1) poets dig folks who can recite poetry and 2) memorizing poetry strengthens you mental muscles.
Ask to hear one of our poems. Sure, your poet might kick the dirt and say he/she doesn’t have a poem ready to read to you, but persist. If you show interest in our poetry, most poets are just putty in your hands.
Hope you’ll all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Here’s a great love poem by a really great guy to get you started.
by Joseph Millar from Overtime
I follow with my mouth the small wing of muscle
under your shoulder, lean over your back, breathing
into your hair and thinking of nothing. I want
to lie down with you under the sails of a wooden sloop
and drift away from all of it, our two cars rusting
in the parking lot, our families whining like tame geese
at feeding time, and all the bosses of the earth
cursing the traffic in the morning haze.
They will telephone each other from their sofas
and glass desks, with no idea where we could be,
unable to picture the dark throat
of the saxophone playing upriver, or the fire
we gather between us on this fantail of dusty light,
having stolen a truckload of roses
and thrown them into the sea.