Poems for Valentine’s Day


There are few things more annoying for a high school teacher than the silliness of Valentine’s Day. I’m referring to the constant interruptions of love-grams, obstacle-like balloons and flower arrangements littering classroom airspace, teenage guys who don’t have the courage to ask a girl out and prefer to send an anonymous Valentine’s Day bear that they overpaid for from DECA and the moodiness of rejected/accepted/rejected/accepted teenage girls.

(For the sake of my marriage, I won’t get into the absolute scam that is Valentine’s Day for men. We are expected to purchase expensive, impractical love tokens (chocolate and flowers) for no apparent reason.)

As a teacher, however, I have learned to deal with reality, and the reality is teenagers love the silliness of Valentine’s Day. I, therefore, go along with their silliness. Here are some Valentine’s Day Poems. It may be the only time of the year your students actually get into poetry.

If you want lesson plans for these Valentine’s Day poems, follow the link. A link to each poem is also provided. You’re welcome

  1. “How Do I Love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. When I was an undergraduate many years ago, there was a guy in my literature class who professed his admiration for Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I made fun of him. A few years later–when I was in love–I bought Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Turns out she’s a pretty good poet after all. Feel free to teach hyperbole with this one. Hyperbole, after all, is wonderfully suited for teenagers, love, and teenagers in love.
  2. “Sonnet 130” by William Shakespeare. You’ve probably heard of Shakespeare. Turns out he wrote a few plays and sonnets. Apparently his creative genius did not extend to the naming of poems. You’re sure to have bitter unloved Valentines’ Day hater guys or girls in the class. They’ll love this poem. Of course, the joke’s on them. This is a sincere love poem, revealed as only Shakespeare could.
  3. “Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns. Burns’ use of hyperbole would shame even talk show radio hosts. Chances are someone in the class has received a dozen red roses on this day. What a perfect opportunity to embarrass her in front of her peers with a discussion of symbolism.
  4. “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is more often associated with Halloween. The morbid lovers in your class will enjoy this classic.
  5. “Heart we will forget him” by Emily Dickinson. Not sure what’s more ironic, the fact that a recluse wrote such accurate love poems or the fact that there are love poems written by someone with the initials E.D. Either way, your bitter, recently rejected, broken-hearted students will either smile slightly or break down in tears. Prepare accordingly.

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