Roses are blue, violets are red …


A call from lovely Robyn at the Poetry Society. ‘Interflora have been in touch’ she said ‘And they want someone to write a formula for the perfect love poem to assist bouquet-buying customers with their romantic messages on flower cards this Valentine’s Day. Are you up for it?’

I pondered hard. There’s no such thing as a formula for a poem of course … but all the work I do via Jaybird is to do with connecting poetry with new audiences, so I thought that I probably could find a way to jink and wangle some sort of poem recipe that stayed true to my beliefs about the utterly unformulaic nature of the art, but also provided some genuine advice for people wanting to turn a memorable phrase for their Valentine sweethearts. Besides, the title poem of my last book is about a flower stall, I’m currently researching Keats’ floral imagery for another Joy Forever event and we’re working on a garden poetry programme at the Poetry School – flowers and love and poetry are already as entwined in my thought processes as ivy climbing up grapevine.

Here’s what I came up with – x(p + b + c + o)

A week to go till Valentine’s Day. Plenty of time to write something beautiful.


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