Over on Poefrika, Rethabile has been talking about poetry and sex and asks us all to join in the discussion. So here are three of my favourite poets on sex.
Sharon Olds for me is famous for her straightforward approach to sex: 'after we had made love for the third day' for example.
Rebecca Elson explored sex through mathematics: 'the body aches/.... (to) Express in its own algebra' (from Carnal Knowledge) and astronomy: 'dancers/practising their slow seductions on the manifolds of space' (from Constellations) always searching for the ultimate black hole experience.
Ruth Padel is all passion, tight reined most of the time, but you get the feeling that it would be all fireworks when it happens, if only the two would be lovers could allow their magnetism to draw them to each other. This is the ending of her long poem Casablanca and the Children of Storm from her collection Voodoo Shop:
But somewhere in another galaxy,
Some parallel universe,
We'll still be what we were,
St Peter's birds,
Doing the impossible, walking on sea,
The outriders of storm.
Off course maybe, blown,
fragile but together. Drawn
To their one and only mate
by magnetism, a cry
You recognise in the dark above all others,
And by faith.