|"Map of the World" by Ted Kooser|
For twenty-five years, Ted Kooser wrote a valentine poem and mailed it out in February. These collected poems are available in the book, Valentines by Ted Kooser.
Here's the Amazon description of the book--
For Valentine’s Day 1986, Ted Kooser wrote “Pocket Poem” and sent the tender, thoughtful composition to fifty women friends, starting an annual tradition that would persist for the next twenty-one years. Printed on postcards, the poems were mailed to a list of recipients that eventually grew to more than 2,500 women all over the United States. Valentines collects Kooser’s twenty-two years of Valentine’s Day poems, complemented with illustrations by Robert Hanna and a new poem appearing for the first time.
Kooser’s valentine poems encompass all the facets of the holiday: the traditional hearts and candy, the brilliance and purity of love, the quiet beauty of friendship, and the bittersweetness of longing. Some of the poems use the word valentine, others do not, but there is never any doubt as to the purpose of Kooser’s creations.
I have the book, though mine is the letterpress version through Brooding Heron Press in Washington State and is called "Out of That Moment." If you can find one of these copies, they are gorgeous, but only 50 were made so I truly treasure mine.
I love this idea of writing a poem every year for a certain occasion and mailing it out. And Valentine's Day is the perfect poet holiday!
Also, if you've never read Kooser, he's extremely accessible, so if you wanted to get this gift for someone who didn't really read a lot of poems, it would be a great introduction to poetry without that scary "I don't understand what I'm reading" feeling some new poetry readers have.