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Annie Dillard

“Later, while Lou bathed, Maytree copied from a volume of Keats's ever-young letters a possibly unrelated but similarly unanswerable question: Who enjoyed lovemaking more--the man or the woman? He popped it into that spotted notebook in dimeter and trimeter:
Who shall say
between Man and Woman
which is the most [more] delighted?
The woman, everyone knew Tiresias said, but Tiresias was made up. On what grounds had the Greek man let full-fictional and full-switched Tiresias answer, The woman? Did lovemaking then and now run to male or to female, noisemaking? Speaking of wild surmise?
For lovemaking nearly killed Lou. Was she all right? Abashed, he held her steady until she opened her eyes. Was he a brute? What ailed her? --Whoo, she answered once, and another time, Yike. He stopped worrying. Hours afterward he used to see her, firm and young as she was, gripping the rail to check her descent downstairs.
He proposed Keats's question to Lou one morning as they shared the last of the tooth powder. --Say, Lou--here's a question. Keats put it, 'Who shall say between Man and Woman which is the more delighted.' What do you think?
--The woman. Rather prompt of silent Lou. Much later that night in their shack bed she added just as he was rolling asleep, If the man is John Keats. ”


Annie Dillard, The Maytrees
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The Maytrees The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
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