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Roses are red, violets are blue

Posted on 8th February 2017 by Waterstones

We asked some of our favourite authors to complete the famous Valentine's verse 'Roses are red, violets are blue...' in whatever way they liked. This is what happened.

Still looking for that perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine's Day? We've a great selection here.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
But woke up to find
A new colour: it’s you.

Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague)


Roses are red,
violets are blue.
I hate poems
even more than I hate you.

Linwood Barclay (@linwood_barclay)


Roses are red
Violets don't stay
The sexiest characters
Are morally grey

Roses are red
The Darkling wears black
My love is as fierce
As a volcra attack.

Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo)


Corpses are red,
(Though the strangled look blue)
And both are delightful
When boiled for glue.

Harry Bingham (@harryonthebrink)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Give someone a book
And they'll sleep with you

Holly Black (@hollyblack)


Vampires are pale
Werewolves are fluffy
Bollocks to Twilight
I still love Buffy.

Christopher Brookmyre (@cbrookmyre)


Roses are red
Blood is red too
So hide the knives
Cos I'm coming for you!

James Carol - (@JamesCarolBooks)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
You like 70s muscle cars
I like Doctor Who
You like beetroot
I would feed it to horses
You like plain steamed things
And I like cheese courses
You run in races,
Love hunts, tents and hooks
I like indoor places
With fires, and books
No-one can say
Why we work as we do
We are just so different
Thing One and Thing Two.

But when all is gone and we are both long dead,
Rose red
We’ll still know the core and soul of us was true.
Boy Blue.

Jenny Colgan (@jennycolgan)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Angelina's taken
So you'll have to do.

John Connolly (@jconnollybooks)


Chris Ridell and Paul Stewart

Chris Ridell and Paul Stewart

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Wait a minute - aren't violets violet?
Everything you know is a lie.

Mason Cross (@MasonCrossBooks)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue
I'm wet as this weather
Thinking of you.

Julia Crouch (@thatjuliacrouch)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Whether you’re faithful
I cannot construe.

Violets are blue
Roses are red
But if you are cheating,
Lover, you’re dead!

Lindsey Davis


Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm locked in the cellar
With pictures of you.

Rob Delaney (@robdelaney)

My roses have turned blue
My violets appear red,
And I no longer fancy you,
I fancy myself instead.

Laura Dockrill (@LauraDockrill)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
My mother has decided
It has to be you

Allie Esiri (@AllieEsiri)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
But witches are green
And I'm coming for you.

Eliza Granville


(To be read lasciviously with a West Country accent)
Roses are red,
violets are blue
Let's pretend to be pirates
and start up a crew.

Viv Groskop (@VivGroskop)


Roses are red
And various other colours
Violets are violet
If we're being specific.
(I believe it was this attention to detail that made you fall in love with me).

Matt Haig (@matthaig1)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
A body can stray
While a heart stays true.

Sophie Hannah (@SophiehannahCB1)


Roses are red
Violets are purple
People just say they're blue
Cos rhyming's a hurdle.

Natalie Haynes


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Your excuses are old, but
This hammer is new.

 Sarah Hilary (@sarah_hilary)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I’d rather be dead
Than stuck with you!

Erica James (@TheEricaJames)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Why stop at one Valentine?
Love triangles give us two.

Lauren Kate (@laurenkatebooks)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
They are from different genera
And so this much is true:

They are fundamentally incompatible,
And will never connect, bear offspring, or truly love one another.

It's pretty depressing, if you think about it.

Tim Leach (@TimLeachWriter)


In your riding hood red,
You pick lavender blue.
I'd dress like a grandma,
Just to meet you.

Abie Longstaff (@AbieLongstaff)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
but all flowers wither
just like my love for you *sadface*

(I think the *sadface* is very ee cummings)

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I only snogged Benedict Cumberbatch
because he begged me too.

Sarra Manning (@sarramanning)


Roses are red,
violets are blue
I’m slightly adhesive
But I’ll stick to you.

Alexander McCall Smith (@McCallSmith)


Roses are red
Violets are.....well, violet
You and I are like doomed TV soap Eldorado
We barely made it past the pilot.

Claire McGowan (@inkstainsclaire)


"Roses are red,
violets are blue...
romantic love is an ideological construct, but it's a beautiful ideological construct, and rooted, we all secretly believe, and fundamentally know, in the softest, sweetest, most hopeful part of our being. Plus, it's better than being alone and blankly masturbating into the Abyss. Although that can get a bit messy. Especially if it's the director's cut, the one with the giant waves and the threat of nuclear armageddon, and the bit where everyone thinks the baldy guy is dead, but he comes back to life because he's been saved by underwater aliens, but secretly it's because he's distraught without his ex-wife, and he believes fully in the power of, yep, romantic love. See. You can't get away from it. Even right now. There's a couple on the table opposite me. Japanese. And they're just kind of, well, hugging. Heads clunking together. No conversation. Just hugging. It's utterly beautiful. I could cry. No, wait. Hang on. She's got her phone out. Ah shit. Now she's texting. And he's watching her text. No. wait. Hold on. His phone has just gone. He's looking at it. She's looking at him looking at his phone. He's smiling. She's clearly just texted, Bluetoothed, or Airdropped a message, and he's looking at her, looking at him, looking at his phone, looking at the message she sent to him while he was looking at her, looking at her phone. I can't see, from here, exactly what she's sent, but I'm guessing it's something like, "I, like, totally love you, you are my life in every possible way, I can't breathe without you, and maybe we should turn off our f***ing phones and go back to clunking heads together, and stuff." Either way, I rest my case. Romantic love, like Derrida used to say about inherent narrative structure, is simply there, like life itself. You can't fight it. You can't deny it. But to hold onto it when you've got it, and to make it last, now there's a trick!"

Kevin Maher (@KevinTMaher)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Which may be useful (if not totally precise) information
for those of us who are color blind.

Becky Masterman


Roses are red
Violets are blue,
Sugar is addictive,
I think you're brilliant.

Denise Mina (@DameDeniseMina)

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Your love is the art
That graffities my heart.
"For Jack"

Emily Murdoch (@LeftyWritey)


Roses are only sometimes red
Violets are never really blue
Do you really need a national holiday
To remember to say, "I love you"?

Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
True love can only occur between equals.

Zoe Pilger (@ZoePilger)


Roses are red
From bloody dew
A demon beside us
On the wooden pew.

Andrew Pyper (@andrewpyper)


Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Mikey stared at the words inside the Valentine’s card and wondered why they made him feel hollow. Maybe it was because he was colour blind and had never liked flowers anyway. Plenty of much more exciting things were either red or blue: buses, post boxes, the ocean, and the sky. Why did love always get reduced to roses and violets? Mikey tore up the card with a sense of relief, and went into the kitchen to bake a chocolate cake for his girlfriend instead.

Kate Rhodes (@K_RhodesWriter)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Take a chance at life
You’ll find the new you.

Deborah Rodriguez


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I said it was me,
It was actually you.

Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell)


Roses are red,
violets are mauve,
my spelling's poor,
but I think I'm in loave.

Roses are Red,
so are your lips,
come to my house,
and I'll cook you some chips.

Roses are dark,
Violets are pale,
I'd like to date you,
when you get out of jail.

Roses are scentless,
Violets are smelly.
I want to go to your house,
and watch the telly.

Nina Stibbe (@ninastibbe)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
For our Somerset tryst,
I've hired a canoe.

Tom Vowler (@tom_vowler)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm in the ring
Still dancing with you

Anna Whitwham (@Anna_Whitwham)


Roses are red
Violets are blue
So please see
Frank O'Hara's 'Having a Coke with You'.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
So play me a love song
On my heart's kazoo.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I think you're sexy
I'm joining the queue.

Naomi Wood (@NaomiWoodBooks)


Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Mess with me,
and I'll eat you.

Natalie Young (@natalieyyoung)


Thank you so much to all the authors who shared their poems.


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