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These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch'ung's "Parody of a Lover" to John Betmeman's "Late-Flowering Lust," they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 12th 1994 by Everyman's Library
(first published April 7th 1994)
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The jacket blurb is accurate enough, which is to say: collected this way, these are not arousing poems, but instead have in common that they use language to convey the experience of embodied desire or simply to reflect on it. The editor is clear this isn't the same as romantic love, though in fact, as some of the poems convey, the relationship between love and desire is strongly culturally mediated, and for some of the poets (or their translators) is pretty indistinct. One fortunate choice the ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Hafidha rated it liked it · review of another edition
It's got some good poems, including many from the days of old (Ovid, Petronius, etc.) and a fair number from the 17th Century and so on. There are gaps. It's old-fashioned, though, in the sense that almost all poems are written by men about women (there are a small number by men about men) and a lot of them are sexist or patronizing, etc. Typical. Still, it's a good collection to have on hand if you like anthologies.