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Roses Are Red by Gary R. Hess

Roses are red refers to a class of doggerel poems (meaning, poems that have little literary value). The poem is:

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet; And so are you

The origins of the poem is unknown, however it may be traced back to the epic The Faerie Queene (Book Three, Canto 6, Stanza 6) by Sir Edmund Spenser (1590):

She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew, And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

A nursery rhyme even closer to the modern cliche Valentine's Day poem can be found in Gammer Gurton's Garland, a collection of English nursery rhymes (1783):

Roses are red, diddle, diddle Lavender's blue If you will have me, diddle, diddle I will have you.

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables contains a character, Fantine, contains the lines:

Les bleuets sont bleus, les roses sont roses, Les bleuets sont bleus, j'aime mes amours.

Which translates to:

Violets are blue, roses are red, Violets are blue, I love my loves.

Although the origins are unknown, it is now part of modern Valentine's Day in classic Mother Goose style. As a tribute, here are other "Roses are red" poems for you to enjoy:

"Roses are red,
I am blue,
I can't wait
until i see you"

"Roses were read,
and violets blew,
as time went on
i still loved you"

"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Peanutbutter's great
and so is honeydew"

Poems by Gary R. Hess

Written September 25, 2008

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