Geoffrey Chaucer started it all back in 1382: he was the first to associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love. The “roses are red, violets are blue” cliché was first found in Gammer Gurton’sGarland, a 1784 collection of English nursery rhymes. And Victor Hugo makes a reference to the same sentiment in his 1862 Les Misérables with these words sung by the character Fantine:
We will buy very pretty things
A-walking through the faubourgs.
Violets are blue, roses are red,
Violets are blue, I love my loves.
Today, Valentine’s Day is the biggest global special day that is not a holiday. The US Greeting Card Association estimates that 190 million are sent each year. Over half of these are given to family members other than husband and wife. If you count the Valentine Day card exchanges among school kids, the number soars to over one billion. As Elvis Presley would have put it: that’s a lotta hunk of burning love.
Here, TD’s featured artist Charles Laurier Dufour presents a variety of interpretations of different stages and kinds of love relationships. He thinks of them as “chapters” in the eternal book of love we all help write each day. His photographs are all numbered and captioned in the gallery below. They are offered for those of us who:
- have a crush on someone
- have not yet learned to forgive
- patiently await his or her decision
- have found what is close to a perfect fit
- have a thirst for sex that never seems to be quenched
- finally feel able to move on
- live the secrecy of a double life
- are faceless in the loneliness that is unrequited love
- are at peace with our independence
- prefer casual trysts that are free from commitment
- are feeling the sharp pain of a recently lost love
- feel trapped and helpless in the relationship we’re in
- have a million miles between ourselves and our loved one
- feel like we’re floating in this madness we call “love”
We’re pleased to honor Charlie’s request that we share with you these various chapters of love by way of [his]photography. He says, “This is my Valentine’s present to you, no matter which chapter of your love life you find yourself in this year.”
Valentine’s Day Photograph Selection Contest
How to win a free autographed photograph of your choosing?
Pick your three favorite photographs from the gallery below. (Click on any image and the gallery turns into a slide show that you can control.) Each photograph is numbered for your easy selection. So, for example, you might select Numbers 1, 7, and 9. Or you might select 2, 6, and 14. If one of your three choices is among the top three vote getters, you will qualify for a random drawing to become one of three winners. Enter your top three choices in the comments section below the gallery on the Facebook page posting. A minimum of 100 entries will validate the contest.
The winner will be announced on TD’s Facebook page at the end of February, the 28th, in two weeks. The winner will be mailed an 8×11 autographed print suitable for easy framing in any 11×14 frame.
For those who do not win, TD has negotiated a special price for any of these images. Normally $75.00, you can order any unframed, 8×11, print for $60.00. Free shipping. Order directly from firstname.lastname@example.org.