Geoffrey Chaucer: Architect of Saint Valentine's Day
“For this was on Seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh theere to chese his make [mate]…”
(Geoffrey Chaucer, The Parliament of Fowles, circa 1380)
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342/43–1400) brought together the imagery of blooming spring and the tradition that birds choose their mates in spring to describe the courtship of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. In The Parliament of Fowles Chaucer also chose Saint Valentine as a patron for that marriage, which is the first mention of Saint Valentine in a love poem. Also in the poem are other symbols of love which came to be associated with Saint Valentine’s Day: Cupid and Venus. Chaucer thus began a tradition of composing love poetry on Saint Valentine’s Day.
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