Yawn, I’m bored with my own writing. I flung the challenge out to you, my good readers. What should I write about? Sarah W. came through.
Stipulating a time machine and unlimited amounts of soap, hot water, Laytex/Teflon prophylactics, modern antibiotics, and persuasive powers:
Which dead poet(s) (limit 3) would you totally tap?
Hm. Byron might be good in bed, or he might have just been all talk. Ditto Donne. Keats, though, I love him no matter what he’s like in bed. But even more than Keats, who was something of a late-teen obsession for me, is Rilke. Look at the level of detail here. How would that translate to other spheres?
from Before Summer Rain
Suddenly, from all the green around you,
something—you don’t know what—has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence. From the nearby wood
you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someone’s “Saint Jerome”:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour
Shakespeare! If I had the will and the way…in my days studying Shakespeare’s sonnets I learned all about bawdy Shakespeare. Not only were the first 19 (? how far we have fallen) sonnets written to a pretty young man, “nothing” and “will” are slang terms for lady and gentleman parts.
Yes, “Much Ado About Nothing” is in fact really “Much Ado About Pussy.” And Mr. Shakespeare did love to make jokes about his own name. Where there is a Will there is a way. Long story short, I’d sleep with Shakespeare in a second.
And then I let my mind wander to more recent times. My third poet would be H.D. Hilda Doolittle was the daughter of an astronomy professor at University of Pennsylvania. And she was bisexual. And wrote beautiful poems. I love H.D.
Toward the Piraeus
If I had been a boy,
I would have worshipped your grace,
I would have flung my worship
before your feet,
I would have followed apart,
glad, rent with an ecstasy
to watch you turn
your great head, set on the throat,
thick, dark with its sinews,
burned and wrought
like the olive stalk,
and the noble chin
and the throat.
I would have stood,
and watched and watched
and when in the night,
from the many hosts your slaves,
and warriors and serving men
you had turned
to the purple couch and the flame
of the woman, tall like the cypress tree
that flames sudden and swift and free
as with crackled of golden resin
and cones and the locks flung free
like the cypress limbs,
bound, caught and shaken and loosed,
bound, caught and riven and bound
and loosened again
as in rain of a kingly storm
or wind full from a desert plain.
So, when you had risen
from all the lethargy of love and its heat,
you would have summoned me,
and found my hands,
beyond all the hands in the world,
cold, cold, cold,
intolerably cold and sweet.
Whom do you love?