A Valentine’s Day poem wasted, but pretty nonetheless

Dear Matt,

When I wrote this I wanted to make you into heaven-angel/landscape-garden, because of your blue eyes (sky), light hair (sun), fair skin (clouds/marble), and intoxicating sex (flowers/nectar). Do you see how beautiful you are to me?

The structure of the poem is this: I created three haiku. I don’t know if you know what a haiku is, but it is a strictly set form from Japan. The poem must have three lines, the first line having exactly five syllables, the second having exactly seven, and the third exactly five again. That’s hard to do, especially when you also have to say something metaphorical within those parameters!!

Anyway, I used the first haiku to make connections between you and heaven, the second to make you an angel (fitting for Valentine’s Day, since cupid is a winged god), and the third to connect you to flowers and their scents.

Something else to notice: The vowel patterns. Azure/hallowed/hand/dazzling/man/happy all have the same “a” sound in them, and they are all penultimate (next to the last) words on the first and second lines of each haiku. There is also a true rhyme with gates/radiates/opiates, and a false rhyme (same sound, difference spelling of sound) with rays/haze/bouquets. There is another true rhyme on the first word of the third line of each haiku with baring/daring/flaring.

Finally, and this was important, given that the other poem you said was written about you didn’t make sense, the three haiku can be read as one sentence that says exactly what I mean: You are a beautifully intoxicating man.

Heaven’s azure gates
open under hallowed rays,
baring an angel

whose hand radiates
prisms of dazzling haze,
daring me to hope

his man-opiates
will be, like happy bouquets,
flaring into bloom.

Thus:
Heaven’s azure gates open under hallowed rays, baring an angel whose hand radiates prisms of dazzling haze, daring me to hope his man-opiates will be, like happy bouquets, flaring into bloom.

PS

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(Update, 7/19/2013: This poem is updated and included as “St. Valentine” in the collection “The Gospel According to Anteros.”)

Author: Devon Hunter

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4 Comments

  1. Devon — This is simply stunning. Getting the complex structure and the message to compliment each other so well is amazing. Pete

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  2. Just a year ago I started reviewing work on a website called thenextbigwriter.com. I was an arrogant teenage jerk when I first came on. I would have at the time said this sucks. But now that I have come to appreciate poetry more through the process of aging and learning from my mistakes, I absolutely love this poem. Great alliteration and wonderful word choices. Bouquets – Bloom! Love it!

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    • I just found a “flaw,” now that you’ve mentioned alliteration… Rays/angel does not match haze/hope and bouquets/bloom… But I’m glad you like it (and that you didn’t find it until you were ready to appreciate it) 🙂 xo

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  3. I am changing “angel” to “fair wraith.” Given how all this ultimately evolved, and his disappearance into thin air… it seems appropriate. It also fixes the “problem” of rays/angel -> rays/wraith, and the sound structure of baring/fair is pleasing to me (especially in that it leads into “radiates”).

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