The Best American Erotic Poems

The Best American Erotic Poems

From 1800 to the Present

Book - 2008
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There is a deep tradition of eroticism in American poetry. Thoughtful, provocative, moving, and sometimes mirthful, the poems collected in The Best American Erotic Poems celebrate this exuberant sensuality. These poems range across the varied landscapes of love and sex and desire -- from the intimate parts of the body to the end of an affair, from passion to solitary self-pleasure. With candor and imagination, they capture the delights and torments of sex and sexuality, nudity, love, lust, and the secret life of fantasy. David Lehman, the distinguished editor of the celebrated Best American Poetry series, has culled a witty, titillating, and alluring collection that starts with Francis Scott Key, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Hart Crane, encompasses Frank O'Hara, Anne Sexton, John Updike, Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Kevin Young, and Sharon Olds, and concludes with the rising stars of a whole new generation of versifiers, including Sarah Manguso, Ravi Shankar, and Brenda Shaughnessy. In a section of the book that is sure to prompt discussion and further reading, the living poets write about their favorite works of erotic writing. This book will delight, surprise, and inspire.
Publisher: New York : Scribner Poetry, 2008
Edition: 1st Scribner ed
ISBN: 9781416537458
Branch Call Number: Poetry 811.008 BES
Additional Contributors: Lehman, David 1948-


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Jan 22, 2011

This is a great collection of highlights of American poetry, all of which have some sexual element. The selections range from (of all American icons) Francis Scott Key to young contemporary poets. Some of the best known and most talented American poets are in here, but it's not the best collection of erotic poetry I've seen.

As with any anthology, some pieces fit the theme more than others. Some of these don't really seem all that erotic, or else there's one reference to sex tucked in amongst the other elements of the poem.

Don't pick this book up looking for poetry that's going to get you off; most of these poems are not in any way "hot." I got this book for research to prepare a presentation on erotica, and I don't know if I can use any of these poems. They're mostly well written, but also mostly not arousing.


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