How to Write a “Roses are Red” Valentine’s Day Poem

Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to tell the people we care about how much they mean to us. The tradition of sharing our feelings by giving cards dates back to the 15th Century in Europe, and the messages were all originally written as poems!

Roses are Red

The oldest surviving example of a Valentine’s poem is written in French, but the most famous Valentine’s poem of all is in English:

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

The best thing about this poem is that it is so simple to adapt by changing just a few words.

Writing Your Own “Roses are Red” Poem

Some people buy pre-printed cards, but homemade cards always mean a bit more, especially when you’ve written your own personalized poetry inside!

The first step is to decide who you would like to write a poem for.  Then try and list all the different words you could use to describe who that person is—for example, if I want to write a poem for my mom, I could list all these words:

  • Mom
  • Mommy
  • Mother
  • Sue
  • Susan

If I wanted to pick Sue, this is the easiest change to make:

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

But what if my mom’s name was something trickier, like… …Lisa?

Well, then you have to think of other words to rhyme with Lisa, and change the second line of the poem. And it doesn’t have to be a perfect rhyme. A near rhyme is often close enough. Something like this…

Roses are red
And so is pizza;
Sugar is sweet,
And so is Lisa!

If the person you want to write for has a really difficult name to rhyme, then choose a different word from your list.  This could be ‘Friend’, ‘Brother’, ‘Teacher’, or even ‘BFF’!

Roses are red;
Chocolates are yummy;
Sugar is sweet,
And so is my Mommy!

If the person is just too difficult to find a rhyme for, don’t worry – you can fit their name into the middle of the last line instead!

Roses are red.
And so is pizza.
Sugar is sweet,
But Benji is sweeter!
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Kittens are cute,
And Kerry is too!
Roses are red.
Clouds are white.
Math is boring,
But my teacher’s alright!

Did you notice that, until now, the last line has always ended with an ‘And’ but in two of the examples above use ‘But’ instead? In fact, you can be as creative as you like with the last 3 lines of the poem, as long as you follow the rules!

The Rules

Here are the rules for creating your own “Roses are Red” Valentine’s Day poem:

  • The second line has to rhyme with the fourth line
  • The first line should start ‘Roses are red’
  • The second should either follow the format noun-’is/are’-adjective* or ‘And so is…noun
  • The third line should always follow the format noun-’is/are’-adjective
  • The last line should start with ‘And’ or ‘But’

And most importantly… have fun!

Kenn Nesbitt
Follow Kenn
Latest posts by Kenn Nesbitt (see all)