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What Skunk Had to Say (a love poem)

Last year for Valentine’s Day, I wrote a poem about a smitten porcupine who marries a skunk- though he objects to her scent. If you would like to read (or reread) it,  here’s the link: Will You Be My Valentine?   And here is the new poem I wrote  for today:

Valentine Skunk

What Skunk Had to Say

Oh Porcupine, my Porcupine
My dearest darling Valentine,

 You say that I’m a smelly one
And so I have been told,
But you, my prickly one, I wed
To have but not to hold.

Alas, you are not huggable,
But still you are my mensch.
For better or for worse, my dear,
In fresh air and in stench.

 Oh Porcupine, my Porcupine
My dearest darling Valentine,

 Be kind and do not hold your nose
And run out of the room
If I should overwhelm you 
With my signature perfume.

You made a serious wedding vow
To love me all your life,
But please, my dear, accept you have
A stinker for a wife.

 By Iza Trapani 2-13-2014 ©

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you stinkers out there!

And  this week the wonderful Linda Baie at TeacherDance is hosting Poetry Friday. Please be sure to stop by and read some other poems!


About the author

Iza Trapani I am a children's book author and illustrator, fan of Mother Goose and Dr. Seuss, lover of big dogs, aspiring yodeler. When not in my studio, I spend time outdoors and have climbed over many a mountain to see what I could see.

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54 Responses to What Skunk Had to Say (a love poem)

  1. Linda says:

    You made a serious wedding vow
    To love me all your life,
    But please, my dear, accept you have
    A stinker for a wife

    Oh, I love it! I can hear the giggles kids will have when they read this!

  2. jama says:

    I LOVE this so much!!! Both poems are such gems and the art is just adorable. Happy Valentine’s Day, Iza!!

  3. Joanna says:

    So funny, Iza. Happy Valentine’s Day.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thanks Joanna! The idea came to me on my morning snowshoe yesterday and I couldn’t wait to get back home to write it. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Irene Latham says:

    You say that I’m the smelly one. Ha! So much fun. Love it! And your illustration too. Makes my day. 🙂

  5. My favorite line: “To have but not to hold” Perfect!

    I love the way you’ve carried forward last year’s Valentine theme. As you know, skunks are very scentimental….

    Lots of love on Valentines Day Iza!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Cathy, I was so pleased with that line, if I say so myself :-). It just came out of nowhere. I was off on a morning snowshoe and the lines just popped into my head. Sometimes I think the poems are already fully written in our brains and just choose to pop out when they feel like it. I wasn’t even planning on writing this poem! When I got home, I quickly jotted down the lines, fine tuned a bit, but it came together so quickly. Always a surprise 🙂 Have a wonderful, loving day!

  6. Laura S. says:

    What a darling poem for Valentine’s Day. And I just want to hug that skunk, he’s so cute!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you so much, Laura! Oh boy, hugging the skunk could be dangerous, but perhaps less dangerous than hugging the porcupine 🙂 Have a happy, love-filled day!

  7. This is just delightful! Such fun.

  8. Agnieszka Timbro says:

    Kochana Izuniu,

    Twoj Walentykowy wiersz dodal mi skrzydel I ogrzal niesamowitym cieplem.
    To naprawde wyjatkowa sztuka I talent, by polaczyc takie male zwierzatka w niewinna historie o milosci. Dziekuje.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Proszę bardzo, moja kochana Agnieszko! Cieszę się że Ciebie ogrzał. Życzę Ci dużo miłośći dzisiaj i zawsze i ściskam Cię mocno!

  9. Liz says:

    Oh, this is so fun! I love “to have and not to hold!” And, of course, the last line. We’re all stinkers sometimes, right? And we all need to accept that.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      I am so happy you like it, Liz! I’m glad the idea wafted into my head! And yes,we are all stinkers at times. Have a happy, love-filled day!

  10. Kochana Izuniu,

    I assume that means “Dear Iza” — at least I hope so! What a marvelous companion piece to last year’s poem. Cathy beat me to it, as always, but I have to repeat that “To have but not to hold” is so darn clever. LOVE that line. And I am partial to skunks, so I think this stinker of a wife is a good catch.

    Thank you for the smiles!


    • Iza Trapani says:

      Actually it means “Dear Stinker” 🙂 Just kidding- you were right! I’m so glad you like the poem. Buzi and baci to you, my friend, today and always!

  11. Catherine says:

    That is fabulous, Iza! Happy Valentine’s day!

  12. Linda Baie says:

    Just wonderful, Iza. We must always consider point of view, mustn’t we? Thanks for the lovely laugh this Valentine morning! Love, like Cathy, “To have but not to hold.”

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Thank you, Linda!I’m so glad to make you laugh. I have to say I giggled a bit myself yesterday as the lines popped to mind. Have a happy, love-filled day!

  13. This is so much fun! Love the vows: “To have but not to hold”…and “In fresh air and in stench.” And the illustration!! Thanks for the smile.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      I’m so glad it made you smile, Buffy! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you’re having a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  14. You’re quite a mensch yourself!

  15. BBF, love this so much! It is such a fun companion to last year’s. Skunk is adorable. This put me into such a happy mood. The last line is perfect. Thank you for such a sweet read of a poem. Love you and hope your Valentines Day is filled with all things beautiful. MWAH!

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Mwah to you BBf and extra hugs on this day of love! I am so glad it put you in a happy mood. I hope all is going well! xox

  16. Marcie Davis says:

    Dear Iza!
    My niece Linnea Ann will love these two animals and their Valentine’s Day love story! She loves all of your stories! Thank you so much for your art and poetry! Marcie in NY

    • Iza Trapani says:

      I am so glad, Marcie! Thank you so much, and please tell your niece I say “Hello, and thank you for enjoying my stories!” Happy Valentine’s day!

  17. Diane Mayr says:

    Everyone’s favorite line, “To have but not to hold,” is my favorite, too! Fun, fun, fun!

  18. Rhythm says:

    I am rolling on the floor howling!! Happy Day to you Ms Trapani!!

  19. Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day!

  20. Now that’s one beautiful wedding vow indeed! And in verse too!
    Here’s my favourite from your poem Iza:
    “Alas, you are not huggable,
    But still you are my mensch.”
    Love this post! Definitely made me smile today.

    • Iza Trapani says:

      Myra, thank you! I’m glad you like those lines. I came up with “In fresh air and in stench” first but then to find a good rhyme for that…My initial thought was to use “wench” but I couldn’t make that work. Then I thought I’d say : “In fresh air or in fetor” because then I could use “better”, but I liked “stench ” more, and luckily it worked out when I thought of “mensch.” I just love the puzzle solving process!

  21. LOL! Unfortunately most wives can be stinkers sometimes…but we are not a prickly bunch. = )

  22. Ania Krasinski says:

    LOVE IT!!!!

  23. Donna Smith says:

    Ah, good advice, too! I absolutely loved this! I’m glad you could hold onto the thoughts until you got somewhere to write it down.

  24. How totally delightful! Your rhyme choices are so fresh, fun, and original (mensch/stench? wow) and the whole poem, so bright and fun!

  25. I remember that porcupine from last year! What a fun/funny response!!

  26. Keri Collins Lewis says:

    What an adorable couple! “In fresh air and in stench” made me laugh out loud. Thank you for sharing your talent!

  27. Cathy says:

    This made me laugh. Loved this:

    But you, my prickly one, I wed
    To have but not to hold.

    I’ll have to share this with my students. I think they’ll enjoy it.

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