History of Valentine’s Day

Here is a poem I wrote about the origin of Valentine’s Day. I did take some liberties in interpretation of the good saint’s life.

Valentine’s Day Poem


A day for exchanging messages,

Poems, gifts, wooden love-spoons,

A day of love lotteries,

A time when you could

Wear your heart on your sleeve.

A day of choices,

Selecting one’s patron saint,

Remembering one’s friends, or

Select a lover for cupid’s arrows.

On the Eve of Lupercalia,

Young men would

Draw the name of their

Future lover from a box,

Dating their choice through the festival,

Their version of spin-the-bottle,

Sometimes it worked out well . . .


There aren’t enough soldiers,” Claudius II said.

“Where have all the young men gone?”

“Gone to young girls every one,” his advisors replied.

So the emperor Claudius cancelled

All engagements and weddings.

The priest Valentine ignored his edict,

Meeting couples in homes and catacombs,

Marrying them secretly,

Tying his name forever to love.


Claudius was not pleased.

Valentine was arrested and sentenced to death.

That night, the jailer’s daughter

Visited him in his cell,

A sweetheart from his pre-priest days,

And they fell in love again.

After she left, he left her a simple note:

Always your Valentine.

The first Valentine note.

The next day, he was

Beaten to death with clubs,

Followed by a mandatory decapitation.

Yes, Valentine lost his head.

That often happens when you meddle

In things of the heart.