Poem and art by Mo Conlan

When I was a schoolgirl, we read English poets of the past who showered women with extravagant, flowery love poems. Sigh. So romantic. It is quite possible that one such poem unlocked the door to my writer self. By Robert Herrick, it begins:

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,/

Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows/

That liquefaction of her clothes…

“That liquefaction of her clothes…” I have never forgotten this  brilliant line. Still, I was a dewy-eyed girl then. Now, I think I know what those poetry guys were really after. I got the idea to write an anti-Valentine poem, just for fun.

The anti-Valentine

Thou art a lout, sir,

Dull witted as a trout, sir,

Get out, sir.


Thou art a liar, knaveling,

And thou lieth with thy betters,

Being none other so low and crave-ling.


Thy visage is loathsome to mine eye,

Thy feet stinketh,

Thy mind shrinketh,

Remove thy person to a mudded sty.


When love is offered,

Thou taketh plenty,

When sought in exchange

Thou profferest not any.


Thy speech is a screech

Of an owl, thy morals foul,

Thy heart has dried to dust,

Depart, depart ~ thou must.


After reading  Anti-Valentine poem,

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