Post­ed by Nat Bern­stein

It’s already Feb­ru­ary, and with a cer­tain day ded­i­cat­ed to romance on the greet­ing card cal­en­dar falling over a week­end this year, the pres­sure is on, for many, to curate a tru­ly stel­lar activ­i­ty or expres­sion of love for those dear to them. For­tu­nate­ly, there’s still time to prepare.

It’s hard to go wrong with poet­ry — I take that back: it’s hard to go wrong with good poet­ry. And if you’re not sure how to iden­ti­fy it your­self (or brave enough to try com­pos­ing your own), might I suggest:

If you think poet­ry is cliché, you haven’t encoun­tered the vers­es select­ed by the writ­ers, actors, trans­la­tors, and song writ­ers includ­ed in Antho­ny Hold­en and Ben Hold­en’s dual antholo­gies. Poems That Make Grown Men Cry came out last spring; the com­pan­ion, Poems That Make Grown Women Cry, fol­lows this April from Simon & Schus­ter. Dis­cov­er the poems that reli­ably reduce 100 women — includ­ing Ellena Fer­rante, Francine Prose, Nik­ki Gio­van­ni, Judi Dench, Yoko Ono, Chi­ma­man­da Ngozi Adichie, Janet Suz­man, Ruth Oze­ki, and Ursu­la K. Le Guin — to tears: every­thing from the Roman­tic poets to Rumi to Alice’s Adven­tures in Won­der­land to Gwen­dolyn Brooks to Jang Jin-Sun.

There’s much to admire in the sim­plic­i­ty of both book cov­ers, but I’m espe­cial­ly enam­ored by the typog­ra­phy grac­ing the forth­com­ing sequel. There’s some­thing rem­i­nis­cent of a worn paper­back nov­el inher­it­ed from one’s moth­er in the fil­i­greed Art Deco type­face, near­ly-gold let­ter­ing simul­ta­ne­ous­ly bold and wispy against a sol­id white background. 

Relat­ed Content:

Nat Bern­stein is the for­mer Man­ag­er of Dig­i­tal Con­tent & Media, JBC Net­work Coor­di­na­tor, and Con­tribut­ing Edi­tor at the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and a grad­u­ate of Hamp­shire College.