Verified Valentines: Our Best Author-Annotated Odes to Love lyrics

Walt Whitman

Dear beautiful people,

Happy Valentine's week to you all. For the past year we've invited distinguished writers to comment on their work as "Verified Authors" on Poetry Genius. Not surprisingly, many of their poems and stories have touched on the subject of love. Or sex. Or love disguised as sex, or sex disguised as love. During a week when many of us will need all the romantic insight we can get, we figured this was a pretty good pool of wisdom to draw on.

From swinging hips to whirling stars, from the red light district of Amsterdam to the orgies of the Borgias, from ambiguous ex-girlfriends to the rabbi who buys flowers for his wife on Fridays, we've got the full romantic spectrum covered. And is that a cigarette lighter in Etgar Keret's pocket, or is he just happy to see you?

Take the plunge:

• Harmony Holiday, "B-sides from my idol tryouts"

• Etgar Keret, "What Do We Have in Our Pockets?"

• Jenna Le, "The Borgias"

• Tao Lin, "February"

• Phong Nguyen, "Joan of Arc, Patron Saint of Mothers and Soldiers"

• Ed Pavlic, "Give and Go and Gave and Gone"

• Joanna Pearson, "De Wallen, Amsterdam"

• Katherine Robinson, "Girl Dancing with Planet Orbiting Two Stars"

• Patricia Smith, "Hip-Hop Ghazal"

• David Yezzi, "Minding Rites"

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