Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day and Romance.

Lucky me… I get to post on Valentines Day!
Unfortunately I have been totally slammed at work and didn’t have time to put together the great wonderful heart inspired Valentines day post that I wanted to.

Instead you just get some ramblings about my thoughts on love and romance.

Being a romance author I LOVE romance and Valentines day. Romance for me is the little things that men and woman do for each other that show they care. Romance doesn’t have to be some big grad gesture. It is small. A glance. A whisper. A pinch. Or a spank. It is in the way a person cares for the one they love and how they express those feelings. What someone feels is Romantic I’m sure is different for everyone. What is romantic to you?

So on to Valentines day…

The Definition of Valentine is: Val•en•tine
1. Saint, died a.d. c270, Christian martyr at Rome.
2. Also, Valentinus. pope a.d. 827.
3. a male given name: from a Latin word meaning “strong.”

Choosing a lover and the Saints day being linked together dates back to the 1300’s and Geoffrey Chaucer with his “Parlement of Foules.”

The Parlement of Foules from Wikipedia:
This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.

The poem is in the form of a dream vision in rhyme royal stanza and is interesting as it is one of the first references to the idea that St. Valentine's Day was a special day for lovers.

The poem begins with the narrator reading Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis in the hope of learning some “certeyn thing.” When he falls asleep Scipio Africanus shows up to guide him up through the celestial spheres and then to Venus’ temple. The narrator then passes through Venus’ dark temple with its friezes of doomed lovers out into the bright sunlight where Nature is convening a parliament at which the birds all choose their mates. There the three tercel eagles make their case for the hand of the formel until the birds of the lower estates begin to protest and launch into a comic parliamentary debate, which Nature herself finally ends. None of the tercels wins the formel, for Nature allows her to put off her decision for another year. The dream ends with the other birds choosing mates, and their joyful roundel to welcome spring. The dreamer awakes, still unsatisfied, and returns to his books, hoping still to learn the thing for which he seeks.

This is the line from the poem:
"on Seynt Valentynes day,/Whan every foul cometh there to chese [choose] his make [mate]."

Valentines day is a day to celebrate Love.
So go out and do as the birds in Chaucer’s poem do, select a lover and welcome spring. :-)



Pam Rosenthal said...

Scipio Africanus -- hmmm, is that why the hero of Carla Kelly's wonderful Miss Minton Speaks Her Mind has that unlikely name? Or does he appear all over in classical or post-classical literature, for those (not me, obviously) who know where to look for him. Another thread in the tapestry almost knotted.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Kate Pearce said...

I love Chaucer-so very very naughty.
Great info on Valentine's day!
Have a great, loving bird filled day everyone!

Shelli Stevens said...

Ok you totally did your research. LOL. I'm reading that going...huh? But then, I am the anti-Valentine. Long live the battery operated boyfriend!

Pam Rosenthal said...

LOL re the battery operated boyfriend, Shelli. But in San Francisco, anyway, we celebrate Valentine's Day more ecumenically, and the battery operated are invited to the party (I've also heard it called Hallmark Day about a dozen times today -- damn, and here I thought I made that one up myself).

Jane Lockwood said...

I'm wondering at what point Valentine cards started up and whether they were always anonymous--probably during the Victorian era when greetings cards were mass produced. In England when I was growing up the whole idea was that you got a card from a secret lover who might or might not give you a clue as to his identity. It was a very erotic concept, whereas now I think it's been Hallmarked into good clean family fun.

Little Lamb Lost said...

I learn something new everyday. My mate and I need to celebrate spring but unbroken gray is less than inspiring.

Chuckling over the BOB, too.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kate Pearce said...

Yes Jane, in the UK, Valentine cards are given secretly to lovers or potential lovers-not kids, family or friends. It's certainly a different kind of holiday over here!

Jane George said...

Yes, clean family fun... and a little bittersweet this year. It's my daughter's last year of elementary school and her last year of class valentines. She wasn't even interested in decorating her bag. In years past we've had some truly awesome valentines receptacles.