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Published: 13 February 2014

By Andy Ross

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The poets of Bamako

The traditional sending of poems on Valentine's Day is alive and well, not least in the capital of Mali, Bamako.

In a country with nearly 70% illiteracy, the service of writing is in demand, and more so at this time of year than at any other. This piece from the BBC gives us a glimpse into the lives of the scribes who write poems on demand.

Of course, in Europe, we had our own version of these modern day Troubadors. Here are some poems with translations of pieces from Provence.

And just for that special day, here is Renee Fleming singing Dvorak's Song to the Moon from Rusalka. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!