Poetry Crisis Valentines 2004

Poetry Crisis Valentines 2024

Gil Scott-Heron

Roses are red,
butterflies are free,
the revolution will not
be shown on TV

Robert Browning

Roses are red,
violets are blue.
If I strangle you now
will you always be true?

Coleridge (Kubla Khan)

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I’ll build you a pleasurdome
in Xanadu.
I decree you are my valentine!


Blue is the violet,
red is the rose,
which, by some other name,
would still please the nose.

Carl Sandburg

Roses are red
Sugar is sweet
The fog rolls in on
Little cat feet

Douglas Adams

Roses are red,
Violets are Blue,
The ulitimate answer
Is 42.



Clement Clarke Moore and/or Major Henry Livingston, Jr, call the Poetry Crisis Line (part 6)

CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE: We had just settled down
MAJ. HENRY LIVINGSTON, JR: For our long winter’s nap.
ROSIE (counselor): You mean like a bear?

[For earlier installments of this series, click here.]


Tragic Shakespearean Valentine Cards

The Tragic Valentines of William Shakespeare:



Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
To be? Not to be?
Which one should I do?

In thy orisons be all my sins remembered, valentine!



Daisies are pressed
Under a shoe,
Words can’t express
My love for you.


Lord M*****h

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Is this a dagger
That points me to you?



Your blood is red,
My blood is too,
If you prick me, I bleed
Exactly like you.


The Weyard Sisters

Swamp grass is tall, toadstools are cute,
The recipe calls for more eye of newt.

I’ll meet you in thunder, lightning, or in rain, valentine!



Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Trust you almost as much
As some guy on my crew.



Roses are cut.
We have to set limits:
I’ll die for you, but
I won’t wait five minutes.

Clement Clarke Moore calls the Poetry Crisis Line (or does he?) – part 5

MOORE: With Ma in her nightgown, and me in my cap

It has come to our attention that “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” may have originally been written not by Clement Clarke Moore, but by Revolutionary War Major Henry Livingston, Jr.

This poses a conundrum for the cartoonist, as it calls into question what sort of cap the poet was wearing.

W.S. Merwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line (part 3)

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
W.S. MERWIN (caller): Listen,
PATIENCE: That’s what I’m here for.
MERWIN: With the night falling we are saying thank you.
PATIENCE: You’re welcome. Uh…for what?
MERWIN: We are stopping on the bridges
PATIENCE: Is there traffic behind you?
MERWIN: To bow from the railings.
PATIENCE: Just don’t lean over too far, OK?
MERWIN: We are running
PATIENCE: On the railings?
MERWIN: Out of the glass rooms
PATIENCE: Please tell me you’re not throwing stones.
MERWIN: With our mouths full of food.
PATIENCE: Are you trying to make me worry?
MERWIN: To look at the sky
PATIENCE: Why? What’s happening?
PATIENCE: Please don’t tell me they’re bombing the parking lot with turkeys?
MERWIN: Say thank you.
PATIENCE: Um…thanks?
MERWIN: We are standing by the water
PATIENCE: Not too close, I hope?
MERWIN: Thanking it.
PATIENCE: Right. Gratitude is good. But have you considered not engaging in risky behavior?
MERWIN: Standing by
PATIENCE: I mean as a proactive choice.

Sjohnna McCray calls the Poetry Crisis Line

KIM (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
SJOHNNA MCCRAY: Rage is the language of men.
KIM: Let me see if I can find you a translator.
LUTHER (anger translator): Luther here. What the @#!? is your problem?

In celebration of both Father’s Day and Juneteenth this Sunday. Click here to read “Portrait of My Father as a Young Black Man” by Sjohnna McCray