February 3, 2016

Reading Diary: Threshold, by Adrea Kore

 I keep my reader's diary to share my thoughts on recent reads, new discoveries, and favorite books. I do not accept requests to review books, or reader copies, from authors. Nothing here is a solicited review.


Earlier this week we discussed the role poetry has in helping us to be better writers. Several authors I approached were kind enough to share some of their erotic poetry with me, among them author Adrea Kore, who shared two pieces. The first of these, Threshold, captured my attention immediately.
Threshold evokes a detailed scene of erotic bondage. While my earliest assumption is a scene between a male and female partner, I find it interesting to read through it a second time and realize there’s no actual details identifying the sex of either participant, which leaves the door open for the poem to be fully accessible to any readers regardless of orientation or gender. Personally, I like that, since my own bondage fantasies may wander from hetero to bisexual to pansexual play, depending on my mood. I could illustrate this poem in my mind with any combination of players.
But more provocative to me is the consistent repetition of bodily imagery, a personification of the non-human elements in play and the roles assigned to different parts of the anatomy. Descriptions of a wall as the speaker’s backbone, and the rope binding the speaker’s wrists as the fingers of their partner. The casting of tongue and teeth as interrogators, and skin and arteries holding the secrets of the subject’s confessions. These details give to me a sense of more than one relationship, more than two players. They also heighten the sense of nearness and pressure between two bodies, given that the tongue and teeth (again, the interrogators) are interacting so closely with the flesh.
There are several evocations of contrast: surrender vs. a hard embrace (soft vs. hard), coolness of the wall vs. the heat of the partner’s body, the wall vs. ‘your weight’, refusal vs. acquiescence. If there’s one thing I love in sensual imagery, it’s evocative use of contrast. But Adrea’s poem is full of powerful and sensual descriptive imagery. Just a few of my favorites include:
“Let the wall be my backbone / as I give up gravity to you”
“Your tongue and teeth interrogate secrets / Embedded long ago in arteries and skin”
“The taste sweet, clear, as lychee nectar”

But perhaps the most powerful line in Adrea’s poem is the final line. After six stanzas, each six lines, of a journey through this erotic exchange, the final line stands alone, promising the passion is not over:
“Again.”
 

February 2, 2016

In The Headlines: Newly Discovered Erotic Poems by TS Eliot



Have we stumbled upon Old Possum's Book of Practical Pussy?
Last year, The Guardian reported the release of new poetry by T.S. Eliot, including several erotic poems written for his second wife, Valerie.
T.S. Eliot ranks among the most famous 20th century poets and literary creators, and in 1948 won of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Known also for literary criticism, essay, and plays, it’s his poetry which makes him an almost household name even today.
Having been first introduced to Eliot’s poetry through his collection of children’s poems, Old Possum’s Book ofPractical Cats, it interested me very much to learn he’d also published erotic poems. While those verses previously released appeared to reflect an unhappy, even dysfunctional sex life many associate with a failed first marriage and several subsequent relationships, the newly-discovered poems written to Valerie seem to spring from a place of sweet—and sexy—romance.


This excerpt from one of the new poems offers a tone of intimacy and connection, while the title of the poem itself—How the Tall Girl and I Play Together—gives it a hint of playfulness. “Play” being a term often used for sexual scene in fetish circles, it also lends a serious note to the theme of the relationship. My sense—from just few these lines and the title, mind you—is that the poem reflects a sexual dynamic both loving and primally sensual. I’m intrigued, and want to read more.
It excites me to know this incredible poet delved into the realm of erotic verse, too. What say you? Have you read any of his poetry, and if so, was it part of his erotic collections? Does the voice in these lines speak to you? Do you think it’s accurate to assess a poet’s actual life and experience based on his poetry?