13 Poems for Galentine’s Day

Friends, there’s a holiday this weekend that we should be celebrating with mimosas, flowers, and massive quantities of waffles with whipped cream.

I’m talking, of course, about Galentine’s Day.

What’s Galentine’s Day, you say?


It’s only the best day of the year, according to notable Pawnee citizen Leslie Knope.

Galentine’s Day is February 13, and it’s the day when “friends leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!” Sorry dudes, but uteruses before duderuses, you know what I mean?

Anyway, Leslie Knope competes only with C.J. Cregg for the title of “Carolyn’s Favorite Fictional Female Government Official,” and let me tell you, those ladies would throw the best planned and wittiest Galentine’s brunch this fine nation has ever seen.

I like to think that brunch would feature readings hand-selected for participants by Leslie Knope; as dedicated Parks and Rec fans know, she once matched poetry with Scotch in a way that moved even the stolid Ron Swanson.

So, in honor of Leslie Knope and in celebration of Galentine’s Day, here are 13 poems on friendship by female poets. Some are elegiac, some are sad, some are funny, some are opaque, some are straightforward—but all are by talented ladies, and I hope you like them.

Happy Galentine's Day!Patricia Spears Jones, “What Beauty Does”

Regan Huff, “Occurrence on Washburn Avenue” 

Elizabeth Woody, “Girlfriends” 

Katherine Philips, “Friendship’s Mystery, To my Dearest Lucasia”

Tess Gallagher, “Love Poem to Be Read to an Illiterate Friend”

Bernadette Mayer,“On Gifts for Grace”

Rebecca Lindenberg, “Letter to a Friend, Unsent”

Jessica Greenbaum, “I Had Just Hung up from Talking to You”

Margaret Kaufman, “Photo, Brownie Troop, St. Louis, 1949” 

Colette Labouff Atkinson, “Perhaps this verse would please you better—Sue—(2)”

Carolyn Kizer, “October 1973”

Lucilla Perillo, “The Garbo Cloth”

Eloise Klein Healy, “The Beach at Sunset”


What will you be reading to celebrate Galentine’s Day?


15 thoughts on “13 Poems for Galentine’s Day

  1. Until recently I didn’t know what Galentine’s Day was, but I’m thinking that it’s a wonderful thing. Even though, around here, it will probably just go by unnoticed. But maybe I will feel inspired to make a tea date with my neighbour (who also happens to be a close friend). On a Saturday! 🙂

  2. My husband and I are throwing a “Cleopatra Party” to watch the great Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison movie with two of our daughter’s young teachers and another school friend, on Feb 13th. Mostly girls, except for the husband-chef. Does that count?

  3. Oh, I wasn’t aware of Galentine’s Day, so I have already arranged with some friends to kick it, but with a couple of husbands included! Next year, I’ll leave my husband home! We’re having a tea, and although it’s mostly women, my husband and one other are coming. I think they want some cake!

  4. Have just realized that I have (unintentionally) planned a vintage clothes shopping trip with one of my closest uni friends for Galentine’s. Well done us!

  5. What a great idea! I bet many of us women have been doing it for some time now without realizing it. A girlfriend of mine used to always lament being single on Valentine’s Day, and we would celebrate the day by getting take out (she’d stay in the car and make me get the food – “You go; I’m not wearing a bra.”) and renting depressing movies. We had such a good time!

    • You need to write that scene in a book! This year it was too cold in Boston to go anywhere for Galentine’s (or Valentine’s), but I did email a few friends, at least . . .

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