CSU professors recommend poetry for Valentine's Day

By Curt Yeomans


Some people find the poetry of Lord Byron to be a good example of romantic poetry.

Others find the works of Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, to be more romantic.

As residents of Clayton and Henry counties celebrate Valentine's Day today, there are options when it comes to finding a romantic poem, or sonnet, for a loved one.

"A poem is romantic if the reader found something in the poem, which expressed his or her feelings for another person," said Dr. Kathryn Pratt, a professor of literature at Clayton State University, who specializes in the Romantic period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Pratt recommended the works of Byron, John Keats and Elizabeth and Robert Browning. Some examples included Byron's "She Walks in Beauty," and "There be None of Beauty's Daughters," as well as Keats' "Bright Star." Pratt said the real-life love shared between Elizabeth and Robert Browning shows up in their poems. "They had a fantastic relationship," she said.

Pratt cautioned, though, that the poets she likes may not be the right poets for everyone. "It's definitely a case-by-case basis, where the poem has to speak to someone," she said.

Dr. Brigitte Byrd, another professor of literature at Clayton State, and a published poet, said it's not hard to find a poet who has written about love, because "all poets write love poems at some point in their careers." Byrd suggested sonnets are a safe bet for Valentine's Day, because sonnets are usually written about lovers.

Her favorite poets include Neruda and Christina Rossetti. Some examples of Neruda's works, which Byrd recommended, were "I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair" and "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You."

"Neruda is a good poet to give someone, if your beloved is a woman, that is," Byrd said. " I don't think it would be the same, if you were sending it to a man."

Byrd also said poems about love resonate with people, it's a feeling everyone can relate to.

"Writing about love is like writing about death," Byrd said. "They are essential to being [a] human."

Some web sites where you can find poems include, www.poemhunter.com, and www.poets.org, Byrd said.

Pratt said the more traditional, more widely known, poets can be found through a simpler method.

"You can just go online and Goggle their names," she said.