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» » Homage to Eros: 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust

Homage to Eros: 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust by Dannie Abse

Homage to Eros: 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust
Title:
Homage to Eros: 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust
Author:
Dannie Abse
ISBN:
1861057644
ISBN13:
978-1861057648
Size fb2:
1286 kb
Size epub:
1422 kb
Publisher:
Anova Books (January 1, 2005)
Language:
English
Pages:
160 pages
Other formats:
lit doc lrf mbr
Rating:
4.3
Votes:
514
Category:
Literature & Fiction
Subcategory:
Poetry
What rich pickings there are for an anthologist of love poems—haunting expressions of enduring love or of love lost, not to mention wonderful confessions, often robustly comical, of pure lust. Dannie Abse, one of Britain’s foremost poets, has selected 100 poems, ranging from the verse of Catullus and Ovid to recent masterworks by Irish Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney and acclaimed American poet Robert Lowell. All are preceded by pithy biographical notes.
  • Kigul
As with most anthologies, there are jewels and there are stones, but the jewels shining within this book make the lesser works worth enduring. A good collection.

Here are some examples from the 100 that I found compelling.

A Marriage

R S Thomas

We met
under a shower
of bird-notes.
Fifty years passed,
love's moment
in a world in
servitude to time.
She was young;
I kissed with my eyes
closed and opened
them on her wrinkles.
`Come,' said death,
choosing her as his
partner for
the last dance, and she,
who in life
had done everything
with a bird's grace,
opened her bill now
for the shedding
of one sigh no
heavier than a feather.

In the worst hour of the worst season
of the worst year of a whole people
a man set out from the workhouse with his wife.
He was walking – they were both walking – north.

She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up.
He lifted her and put her on his back.
He walked like that west and west and north.
Until at nightfall under freezing stars they arrived.

In the morning they were both found dead.
Of cold. Of hunger. Of the toxins of a whole history.
But her feet were held against his breastbone.
The last heat of his flesh was his last gift to her.

Let no love poem ever come to this threshold.
There is no place here for the inexact
praise of the easy graces and sensuality of the body.
There is only time for this merciless inventory:

Their death together in the winter of 1847.
Also what they suffered. How they lived.
And what there is between a man and woman.
And in which darkness it can best be proved.

Eavan Boland "Quarantine"

A Love Song By Vernon Scannell

I’ve always been in love with you I swear
‘Impossible,’ they say; yet it is true:
I speak with certainty, for I was there.
When I reeled groggy as the punchbowl air
Was spiced with melody I longed for you;
I’ve always been in love with you I swear.
My infant whispers to the beat-up bear
Were meant for you, the tears and kisses too;
I speak with certainty, for I was there.
Let experts, calendars and maps declare
I’m nuts or have at least one wobbly screw;
I’ve always been in love with you I swear.
New kinds of beauty and the wish to share
These riches were rehearsals, as I knew;
I speak with certainty, for I was there.
These shadow-loves were work-outs to prepare
For this, the main event, that they led to;
I’ve always been in love with you I swear;
I speak with certainty, for I was there.
  • Mave
I bought this for a class in college, but held on to it because of the variety and beauty in each of the poems. It has some classics in it, but then also some I've never heard of and have since developed a deep appreciation for. Great for poetry lovers and love lovers!