15 of the Funniest and Most Romantic ‘Roses Are Red’ Poems (2024)

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Poetry and Valentine’s Day are intrinsically linked, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the long-standing tradition of ‘roses are red, violets are blue’ poems, which people often write for their beloved on 14th February.

Indeed, it’s a poet, the medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who sometimes gets the credit for popularising Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers. Chaucer never wrote a ‘roses are red’ poem, however, since they didn’t emerge in literature until the eighteenth century: in the 1784 collection of nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland, we find this anonymous poem:

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou are my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

Here’s a popular modern example:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Flowers smell good, and so do you.

Of course, such poems are usually light-hearted and not taken too seriously. For a start, neither of those statements, ‘roses are red’ and ‘violets are blue’, is strictly accurate: violets are a shade of blue, but are technically, well, violet-coloured, while roses come in a whole range of colours besides red.

Anyway, now that’s established, on with the poems. We’ve compiled some funny ‘roses are red’ poems for those looking for a lighter, fun message for their Valentine or love note; and some more romantic examples to finish.

Disclaimer: these are mostly original ‘roses are red’ poems appearing for the first time here (though of course, please feel free to use them if you wish). Many that we found online were fairly lame efforts, although we don’t pretend that the ones that follow are any less so. But they’re new offerings to what is, after all, the cracker-joke school of poetic efforts: they’re somehow meant to be a little lame …

Funny poems

Roses are red, violets are blue,
You may be annoying, but you’re cute with it too.

This poem pokes light-hearted fun at those quirks and foibles we find in a loved-one, while also acknowledging that those faults are worth putting up with, because they’re cute as well. But our next example puts the loved one in second place to one even more loved:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
My dog has my heart, but you’re all right too.

If you dislike Valentine poems that are too lovey-dovey by half, this jocular little message might strike a more realistically temperate note.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet, it’s nothing like you.
The roses are wilted, the violets are dead,
The sugar is lumpy and so is your head.

This slightly longer poem is often circulated as a prime example of the funny ‘roses are red’ message: its insulting tone is clearly meant to be taken with a pinch of salt, and anyone who has no time for the overly sincere and heartfelt messages pledging everlasting devotion may enjoy this one instead.

Roses are red, lilies are white,
If you want some romance, come over tonight.

Short and to the point, this one presents the addressee with an offer they could refuse … but romance is on offer, so …

Rose is from Persian, violet’s from Latin,
You’d look quite beautiful dressed in white satin.

How about a bit of etymological humour for the more learned, or geeky, Valentine? This little verse points to the origins of the words ‘rose’ and ‘violet’ (or, in the case of ‘rose’, probable origins), while going on to pay the beloved a nice compliment.

Roses are flowers, violets are flowers,
I want to caress you for hours and hours.

Let’s cut through all of that colour-nonsense: roses and violets are just flowers, after all …

Violets are blue and roses are bed,
You, beautiful rose, should be here in this bed.

A nice play on the rose-bed, or bed of roses, or a cheeky proposition too far? Perhaps it works best for people named Rose.

Roses are red, or sometimes they’re white,
Violets are violet, so blue’s not quite right,
And roses in fact are a whole range of hues,
But my love is always the same. Now let’s shmooze.

Well, we had to put to bed the idea that roses are (always) red and violets are (strictly speaking) blue, didn’t we? Why not do it in verse …

Romantic poems

However, if you’re looking for something a bit sweeter and more straightforwardly romantic, you may find one of the following poems of use.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
But flowers mean nothing when I’m not with you.

Sweet! And who knows? Perhaps the sentiment is true and not hyperbole.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet, and so are you.

It may be quite basic, but it hits the spot, and conveys how you feel in nice simple language.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
You don’t care for flowers, but I care for you.

Even if your would-be Valentine isn’t a fan of roses or violets, there’s still a ‘roses are red’ poem just for them.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Whatever your dreams are, let’s make them come true.

Another sweet one. But if you want something that takes the lovey-dovey romance down a notch and is a little more understated, while still being tender and sweet, how about this:

Roses are red, lilies are white,
I know in my heart you and I are all right.

The phrase ‘all right’ – as in this Wendy Cope firework poem – has its place in sincere, unsentimental poetry about love and romance, after all.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I smile every time that I’m with you.

Well, if it’s true, why not come clean and state as much? If that special person lights up your life, go for it. And finally …

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’ll love you forever, whatever you do.

To which perhaps there is nothing more to add. Did you find a good rhyme – funny or tender, or perhaps a bit of both – worth using? We hope so. If not, why not forget about (sometimes) red roses and (violet) blue violets, and quote some of the best love poetry ever written when writing to that special someone?


15 of the Funniest and Most Romantic ‘Roses Are Red’ Poems (2024)
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