February 14, 2010 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Valentines from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here).
posted by Miko (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
NYT describes the telegram to Hepburn as "almost resembl[ing] email in its lack of punctuation and in its upper-case sense of urgency". But what it resembles even more is a telegram.
posted by kenko at 8:51 AM on February 14, 2010 [11 favorites]

E.E. Cummings wins, I think.
posted by obvious at 8:54 AM on February 14, 2010

Very interesting -- and wow, fewer words do say it a whole lot more...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:01 AM on February 14, 2010

obvious: E.E. Cummings wins, I think.

He always does, the charming fucker.
posted by Kattullus at 9:18 AM on February 14, 2010

Enjoyed this very much. I love the telegram but I wonder if it's just that it reminds me of Twitter nowadays. I was composing a librarian-valentine post and I found this article that totally thrilled me: Charles Dickens visits Cupid's Manufactory which is sort of a half jokey half serious visit to a valentine manufacturer in 1864. Apparently this was something you could do, for a job, make valentines.

I love how EB White's wife left an editor's note on his valentine to her.
posted by jessamyn at 9:20 AM on February 14, 2010

Aw, I like the Katherine Hepburn one best -- I love when people manage to fit emotion into the confines of their medium and I am fond of the purported casualness of something quite serious. I always like when declarations of love are made in a way that is really typical of the people making them; it makes them ring so much truer.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:24 AM on February 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

That Dickens piece is a wonderful find, Jessamyn! I loved it!
posted by Miko at 9:56 AM on February 14, 2010

I am grateful--grate-fuler than ever before that you were born, & that your love is mine... SLC

I bet it was a blast to hang out with Mark Twain. He would make a great MeFite.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:02 AM on February 14, 2010

'Tis a pretty story indeed that I am to be thus monopolized, by a pretty nut-brown maid like you – and from a statesman and a soldier metamorphosed into a puny lover ^_^

— Alexander Hamilton
posted by Korou at 10:32 AM on February 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'll take E.B. White's. You can't just sit down and write something like that in a few stray minutes. You have to work at it. It shows that he actually spent time, and likely considerable effort, producing a wonderful work to accompany his heartfelt sentiment; that counts for quite a lot.
posted by oddman at 10:40 AM on February 14, 2010

Alexander Hamilton for me. Thanks - I dislike Valentine's Day intensely but these were lovely.
posted by chihiro at 1:56 PM on February 14, 2010

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