Enter the Global Voices Valentine's Day poetry contest!

minshall_heart.jpg HERE AT Global Voices we're in love with lots of things: blogging, international friendships, foreign languages, free wi-fi. And there are even some of us on the GV team who don't consider Valentine's Day a cheesy occasion viewed positively only by Americans, florists, chocolatiers and the CEOs of greeting card companies.

So, when — on soliciting suggestions for a way to mark Valentine's Day in these pages — our co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon mentioned a poetry contest she ran on her blog a couple of years ago, we fell so deeply in love with the idea that we decided to steal it for ourselves.

So if you're in the mood for love, or even if you view Valentine's Day (or love) with a jaundiced eye (as we all know, some of the best poetry is born of distress), please take part in our Valentine's Day poetry contest.


- Entries must be in some sort of verse, not necessarily rhyming

- Entries must be no more than 30 lines long

- Entries must in some way have to do with 1) love/Valentine's Day and 2) blogging/citizen media, and have some sort of “regional flavour” (we'll leave it up to you to decide what that means)

- Entries may be submitted in any language, though submissions NOT in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Farsi or Mandarin Chinese MUST be accompanied by an English translation

- Entries are open to anyone anywhere in the world, including Global Voices editors, authors and advisory board members

- Entries must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published elsewhere before February 1, 2007

- Entries must be submitted in the comments section for this post and will be moderated according to the guidelines governing all other comments received at Global Voices (ie no hate speech, obscenities etc). Feel free to send in as many as you wish, but please submit only one poem per comment box

- Entries must be posted by midnight PST (GMT -8) on Wednesday 14 February, 2007 to be considered for the contest (please provide a genuine email address)

The winning entries will be showcased on the Global Voices web site.

So what are you waiting on? In some parts of the world it's already Valentine's Day, so get cracking on that haiku/limerick/ghazal/madrigal/sonnet/ode/gangsta rap/elegy about the wonders/joys/perils of love!

UPDATE: The contest is now closed!

Image: A costume component from the “Heart that Sings” section of “The Sacred Heart”, Peter Minshall's 2006 presentation for the Trinidad & Tobago carnival. Courtesy caribbeanfreephoto.


  • Peggy Manfredi

    Realize Our Power

    I want to love the world with open arms,
    Not carry armaments, or threats of death.

    I want to love the world with all my heart,
    Reconstruct that done to tear it apart.

    I want that every blogger on the web,
    Send other words: the truth; it’s not been said.

    We promise to seek peace and compromise,
    In every language, from every land – real eyes.

  • Can the poem be posted on our blog simultaneously?

  • By all means, post the poems simultaneously on your blogs!

    We’d also appreciate if you could include a link to this post along with the poem.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s submissions!

  • Will David Sasaki take part in the poetry contest??

  • Amira: You’ll have to ask David Sasaki.

  • Who are the contest judges?

  • Nicholas: The contest will be judged by a panel of eminent, er, Global Voices people. Hope you’re planning on submitting something.

  • If

    if I was a bird,
    you are the colour on my wings.
    if I was a fish,
    you are the rainbow on my back.
    if I was the land,
    you are the flower growing in me.
    if I was a star,
    you are the light shining from me.
    if I was a song,
    you are my music.
    if I was that boy,
    you are my girl.
    if only,
    …if only.

  • The red sun comes out of eclipse
    When I use it to paint your scarlet lips

    The moon shies away, as it cannot guise
    The glister of the pearls, in your eyes

    The birds that herald the morning springs
    The songs of love that the robin sings
    All an anthem of the beauty you bring.

    The joyous raindrop as it touches your eyes
    It illumes your glare as it swims and flies.
    And then glimmering colors, engrail the skies.
    As you smile a sunrise.

    The lambent tongue of a flickering flame
    The love struck moth, oh what it became.
    But as a prisoner of love, I am fond of my cage
    I am imbued in ardor, as I fill this page.

    Where ever, my beloved, we have walked or strolled,
    The dust of our footprints would stay and grow old.
    And after a thousand years, one spring unfolds,
    They will croon and chant, our love story be told.

    And the angels descend, in the hour of wee
    “we come to you, with a humble plea”

    And then they ask, “Love, what meaning lurks in this,
    What can we give, to adventure a kiss?
    The one that flaunts, an Edenic bliss.”

    “Here are the wings, with which we once flew,
    Now show us the love, virtuous and true.”
    And then I simply, point them to you.
    Because for me, Love is You.

    – by Nabeel Zeeshan, 2007

  • Falstaff

    Blogging too is an
    act of love – the heart posted
    awaiting comment.

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