Top Pick-Up Poems, Part II
I was surprised by the responses to Top Pick-Up Poems, Part I. Apparently, everybody's got a favorite or two. In the interests of democracy, and because I really like talking about seductive poetry, I decided to post some of your responses, as well as your favorites. If I didn't include yours, or if you still have a favorite that you want to write about, never fear: this isn't the last Pick Up Poems post!
Misanthropster brought up Shakespeare's Sonnet 130:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
This isn't really a seduction poem; personally, thought, I prefer this kind of love. This is the one that notices the warts, the foul morning breath, and the oddly-shaped toes, and still cares. It doesn't just accept the flaws, but revels in them. Maybe it's not seductive, but it's seriously beautiful.
Besides, Shakespeare kicks ass!
Odat offered this one (complete with apologies!):
My First Time
The sky was dark
the moon was high
all alone just her and I
Her hair so soft
her eyes so blue
I knew just what she wanted to do
Her skin so soft
her legs so fine
I ran my fingers down her spine
I didn't know how
but I tried my best
to place my hand on her breast
I remember my fear
my fast beating heart
but slowly she spread her legs apart
And when she did
I felt no shame
as all at once the white stuff came
At last it was finished
it's all over now,
my first time...milking a cow.
Once, when I was teaching a creative writing class, a student read a poem that she had written. It was incredibly intense, building to a conclusion that left us all breathless. When she was finished, I mopped off my brow and looked around at the class. Many of them were flushed and appeared either embarrassed or aroused. Smiling, I said something like "Well, I guess we all know what that one was about. Did it accomplish its purpose?" Once I broke the silence, the whole class got involved in a very interesting discussion about this girl's exploration of sexuality, her depiction of an orgasm, and so forth. It was an amazingly productive discussion, and we all felt really good about ourselves until it was the girl's turn to discuss her poem. Looking around at us, she kind of tilted her head and said "actually, it was about basketball."
Pawlie Kokonuts enjoyed Donne's "The Flea," and suggested that we take a peek at Elegy 20: To His Mistress Going to Bed":
COME, madam, come, all rest my powers defy ;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopp'd there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes ; then softly tread
In this love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Revealed to men ; thou, angel, bring'st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet's paradise ; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite ;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my new-found land,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !
To enter in these bonds, is to be free ;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
Full nakedness ! All joys are due to thee ;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys. Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's ball cast in men's views ;
That, when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array'd.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal'd. Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself ; cast all, yea, this white linen hence ;
There is no penance due to innocence :
To teach thee, I am naked first ; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man?
I was blown away to discover that the lines "O, my America, my new-found land," are often used for patriotic purpose. Best of all, the lines before "O, my America" set it up so beautifully: "Licence my roving hands, and let them go/Before, behind, between, above, below." Kinda makes our relationship to the land seem a little too...uh...playful.
Looking over at the little blue dot, I'm noticing that this post is running a little long, so I'm going to hold off on Byron (Glamourpuss' favorite) and "Goblin Market," which Judith suggested. They will, however, be appearing in Top Pick-Up Poems, Part III, presumably with a few other suggestions.
I'm going to leave you with this one, by E.E. Cummings. It is, of course, about a car. Get your brain out of the gutter!
she being Brand
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having
thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
minute i was back in neutral tried and
again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity
avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good
was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on
brakes Bothatonce and
brought allofher tremB