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Roses are Red, Violets are Blue …

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With a little less than a week away from Valentine’s Day love is in the air! Sure, the heart-shaped candies, cards and soaps can be a little overwhelming and everything seems to be made in shades of red or pink. Turn on the TV and you face an endless barrage of commercials encouraging us to buy – and desire – all manner of trinkets, jewelry and knick-knacks to prove how much we love – and are loved. And let’s face it – it’s not the easiest day to be single. It’s all enough to turn Aphrodite into a cynic!

But, as you can probably tell by now, we at the Family Dinner don’t give into cynicism easily. For while there are a million reasons to treat February 14th as any other day, there is one great reason not too: Love. Whether it’s your mom, dad, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, brother, sister, best friend, daughter, son, grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle – Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating your loved ones and that is something we wholeheartedly support!

While there are many ways to let those close to you know how you feel, one of our favorites is sharing a love poem. Love is one of the great inspirations for poets across time and distance. Rumi wrote some of the most beautiful love poems to God. Shakespeare’s sonnets have inspired teenagers and adults alike to sigh with content. Whether it’s unrequited, a first love, a crush, romantic, complicated, lost or longing – there is a poem for every stage. No matter what you are feeling, there is a poem that will help you express your feelings or provide solace. It’s not hard to see why we love poetry so much!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we would like to offer the beautiful poem below by Ralph Waldo Emerson entitled “Give All to Love” to recite around the table. We can’t think of a better way to honor Cupid and your loved ones than giving all your love.

Give All to Love
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-frame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,—
Nothing refuse.

’T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent:
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,—
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,—
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though thou loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.

 

 

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