February is a weird month: short, generally bitterly cold, but also the time for Valentine’s Day. It’s a polarizing holiday! Personally, I’m ambivalent about it, BUT I am not ambivalent about showing loved ones that you love and care about them!
I rediscovered my love for poetry and prose over the past few years, so take a page out of my book. I have shared some of my favourite poetry collections that would be amazing to share with any of your loved ones to score some serious points any time of year, but especially now.
— Jackie M.
Felicity by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver writes as if she’s in love with the entire world, and it is awe inspiring. Felicity is special, because this is a collection of just love poems dedicated to her many loves: people and places of all sorts. Oliver cheekily admits on the back: “If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger”.
If Not, Winter : fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson
In this translation by the brilliant (and Canadian) Anne Carson, the romance is found in the space between. Much of Sappho’s poems are famously lost, but Carson crafts magic and longing like no one else in this collection. In one of Anne Carson’s earlier books, Eros the Bittersweet, she defines many things about romantic love, but one that I can never shake is her idea of “eros” being bittersweet, and the space between people is what makes the feelings so intense. Also, Autobiography of Red has a heart wrenching romance, but I recommend only if you want to get your feelings hurt!
The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, 1968-1998 by Nikki Giovanni
I love Nikki Giovanni. Full stop. Her work contains multitudes: sometimes funny, romantic, social justice oriented and so much more! This is a wide reaching collection of poems you could share with any of your loved ones.
The Cinnamon Peeler : selected poems by Michael Ondaatje
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. The poem that gives this collection its title sweeps me off my feet every time I read it.
She Walks In Beauty : a woman’s journey through poems – selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy
This is an amazing anthology of classic and contemporary love poems by heavy hitters like Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, Lord Byron, John Keats, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Gluck, and dozens more.
All We Saw by Anne Michaels
Another beautiful collection on love of all sorts, especially with dear friends and places.