Nothing so dramatic is imbued in the modern Valentine’s Day cards below as compared to the Valentine’s poem Charles, the Duke of Oléans, wrote after he was imprisoned during the Battle of Agincourt. Sadly, Charles spent 25 years in prison and his wife died while he was in there. He wrote hundreds of poems and love letters while he spent those decades in prison; much of that writing was compiled into The Poems of Charles of Orléans.
About 550 years after that first Valentine was written, I was a kid, and I used to look forward to Valentine’s Day with great anticipation. I’d bring my bag of Valentines to school, with one signed for each kid in the class. And although the nuns would try to enforce the one-kid-one-card rule, they couldn’t enforce the quality of the cards. Back then, each pack of Valentines (I think there must have been 50 in a pack) had one larger Valentine. If you were sweet on someone, they’d get the bigger card. It was a big deal. Alas, I never got a big Valentine.
Those nostalgic days are gone. But happily, Valentine’s cards aren’t. Here’s a selection of Valentine’s cards from the here and now. And as far as I know, no one sent one from prison. (Although that would be kinda cool.)
By the way, as I was writing this I was thinking about Valentine’s songs. And you know what’s one of the worst songs ever written? It’s Frank Sinatra singing My Funny Valentine. Who in the effing hell thought that was a good song? Or that negging some nice person on Valentine’s Day would be charming? Not me.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I hope you find connections every day of the year.