Okay, so once everyone's favorite holiday, Galantine's Day, has come and gone, there's still the fourteenth day of February to reckon with. If you're planning on tackling the big day solo, you can pretty much be assured that you're in for a treat, so long as you don't subject yourself to the weird torture of staying alone in a swanky hotel room (it happened; don't ask) or deciding this is the perfect time to experiment with going out for dinner as a party of one.
Really, poems are the perfect reading material to get you in the mood for a solo Valentine's Day. Like blasting the most empowering Beyonce songs, reading poems puts you in touch with the fiercest you, the you that is thinking boldly and creatively, the you that's willing to go out on a limb and make sense of the esoteric, the avant-garde, the abstract. Sure, you can enjoy narrative poems, too, but the truly fulfilling thing about reading poetry for yourself is embracing the unknown, throwing yourself — with all kinds of sexy abandon — into the logic of another human. Can anyone guarantee a Valentine's Day date going that amazingly? Doubt it.
These seven poems will help you celebrate yourself, every awesome inch of you.
1. 'After The Dinner Party' by Adrienne Su
With family or alone,
I’ll maintain that chopsticks aren’t disposable,
but if I can make peace with the loss of utensils
when breaking bao with guests, I’ll be one of them,
not digging in the napkins and corks.
2. 'She Longed To Be An Island' by Margorie Agosin (Translated by Jacqueline Nanfito)
She longed to be an island,
She loved the unbridled madness of them, the islands,
She longed to arrive to an island that, perhaps, wasn't an island
Divest herself of the ruinous, stony loves
3. 'Dangerous Life' by Lucia Perillo
Some nights I take my lanyards from their shoebox, practice baying
those old camp songs to the moon. And remember how they told us
that a smart girl could find her way out of anywhere, alive.
4. 'there is no flash' by Matta Sama
only hunger muted & sharp blinding rage
of the mind’s kaleidoscopic emptiness oh it is blindingly white
5. 'Evening Solace' by Charlotte Brontë
And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,
Feel no untold and strange distress—
Only a deeper impulse given
By lonely hour and darkened room,
To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven
Seeking a life and world to come.
6. 'The Mind In State' by Fady Joudah
I feel therefore I am. This is more
peptide than pep-talk.
7. 'A Nearly Perfect Morning' by Jessica Greenbaum
It was a nearly perfect morning—bucolic, pastoral—
so I found myself cataloguing my past humiliations.