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February 2, 2012
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What to give for Valentine's Day?

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Consider the most ancient gift - a poem read aloud, to one's beloved - with sung music, a long-stemmed red rose, a box of chocolate toffee, or all of the above, at a downtown celebration Friday, Feb. 10. Or, partners, lovers and friends may just come to listen."Sonnets & Sweets," the Western Colorado Writers' Forum (WCWF) valentine to the community, will be held at 800 Colorado, downtown GJ, starting at 7 p.m. Audience and writers can choose to simply attend, for a suggested $5 contribution. Or, they may use the microphone ($10 per five minutes) to read a poem of their choice, or ask a WCWF poet to read it for them. Approximately, 50 love poems will be available, in print, to give as valentines, or to be chosen for a reading.The first 25 people to choose a $25 gift option will win a box of Enstrom's chocolate toffee, a long-stemmed red rose from Amber Floral, and their choice of a beautifully-made poem for their beloved, presented both on paper and read aloud by their choice of poets. Valentines may also be given to the city, to pets, to Parks & Rec, or any other entity within imagination that deserves affection."Sonnets and Sweets" was an idea suggested by Frank Coons, chairman of the WCWF board, who will read a love poem to his wife, GJ city councilwoman Teri Coons. Other poets performing for the Forum, or at the audience's request, are Linda Skinner, Jill Burkey, Deb Weller, Sandy Dorr, Wendy Videlock and Danny Rosen.Suggested love poems will range from classic to contemporary, from the sleekly modern to free verse, rich in image and symbol, or incantatory with rhyme. Some examples: "Love Is Not All," Edna St. Vincent Millay; "A Birthday," Christina Rossetti; "Love After Love," Derek Walcott; "Venus Transiens," Amy Lowell; "Meeting at Night," Robert Browning; "Two Lovers," George Eliot; "Happiness," Edith Wharton, and "Afternoon Happiness," Carolyn Kizer.Beautiful choral music, flute and guitar solos, all on various themes of love, will also be performed by the Unitarian Universalist Choir. Several downtown businesses are sponsoring "Sonnets and Sweets," including Enstrom's, Amber Floral and Today's Home Furniture & Design. For information, to sponsor, or to sign up for the open mic or $25 gift to your beloved, contact the Writer's Forum at 256-4662, see

Love is not all; it is neither meat nor drinkNor slumber nor a roof against the rain;Nor yet a floating spar to men that sinkAnd rise and sink and rise and sink again;Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;Yet many a man is making friends with deathEven as I speak, for lack of love alone...It well may be that in a difficult hour,Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,Or nagged by want past resolution's power,I might be driven to sell your love for peace,Or trade the memory of this night for food.It well may be. I do not think I would.

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 2, 2012 09:46PM Published Feb 2, 2012 09:46PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.