by Sophie Hannah (Editor) - £9.99 Penguin Books Ltd (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780241962633 | ISBN 10: 0241962633
The Poetry of Sex - a raucous, highly enjoyable anthology by acclaimed poet Sophie Hannah
We've been at it all summer, from the Canadian border to the edge of Mexico...
Romance and poetry seem to go hand in hand but - implicit, explicit, nuanced or starkly frank - sex itself has long been a staple subject for poets. In fact a great deal of erotic poetry rejects the distinction.
It's hard to imagine a more fruitful subject for poets than sex, in all its glorious manifestations: from desire and hope, through disappointment and confusion, to conclusion and consequence. And little has changed over the centuries, as Sophie Hannah's anthology vividly demonstrates, from Catullus pleading with Lesbos to Walt Whitman singing the body electric. Moods and attitudes may vary but the drive persists as does the desire to write about it.
Sophie Hannah's selection ranges from ancient Rome to modern New York, from gay to straight, but her principle has been to go low on the sugar and high on the excitement. The result is a raucous, highly enjoyable anthology.
From Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, this book is essential reading for poetry lovers and romantics everywhere. It is a perfect counterpart to the The New Penguin Book of Love Poetry and a wonderful companion to Sophie Hannah's own Selected Poems.
(Price & availability last checked: February 2015)