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Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure Hardcover – January 30, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Peeling An Orange by Virginia Hamilton Adair
Begin In The Night by Abigail Albrecht
Nesting by Abigail Albrecht
Night Of Blue Stars by Abigail Albrecht
Thirst by Linda Alexander
The Ninth Secret Poem by Guillaume Apollinaire
A Simple Pleasure by Joseph H. Ball
Sometimes, After Making Love by Ellen Bass
Entry June 12 by Walter Benton
Entry October 26 by Walter Benton
Bacchanalia by J. B. Bernstein
Myth by Jonathan Blake
Aurora Leigh, Sels by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In A Gondola, Sels. by Robert Browning
The Smallest Blue Veins by Neil Emmanuel Carpathios
Love & Desire by Elizabeth Claman
O It's Nice To Get Up In, The Slipshod Mucous Kiss by Edward Estlin Cummings
Swans' Song by Elizabeth Dalton
Fire by Lucille Day
Wild Nights - Wild Nights! by Emily Dickinson
The Night The Children Were Away by Stephen Elliott Dunn
Awakening by Gayle Eleanor
Public Affection by Emani
At The Kitchen Counter by Jay Farbstein
Making Love by Walt Farran
Just Before Seventy by Rusty Fischer
Morning by Maureen Tolman Flannery
Tell Me by Carolyn Flynn
Time To Embrace by Michael Foster
Gravity by Rick Fournier
I Love Being Lost by Karen Garrison
Lastnight, After We Made Love by Danusha Lameris De Garza
The Butterfly by Yolande Cornelia Giovanni
I Want To Sing by Yolande Cornelia Giovanni
That Day by Yolande Cornelia Giovanni
The Shape Of Brightness by Laura K. Gourlay
Where I Go After Sex by John Grey
Come With Me To Our Sweet Bed by Penny Harter
Night Poem by Penny Harter
In Your Hands by Jane Hirshfield
The Gateway by Alec Derwent Hope
Armfuls Of Summer by Kathleen Ann Iddings
The Dance by Robin Jacobson
Black Water by George Keithley
It by Leatha Kendrick
The Night by Galway Kinnell
After New Hampshire by Rosemary Klein
Apricots And Figs by Edward Kleinschmidt
Your Tongue by Edward Kleinschmidt
Horizons by Barbara La Morticella
2 Am by Dorianne Laux
Afterwards by Dorianne Laux
Seamless Beauty by Wendy Lee
All That Wet by Diane Q. Lewis
A Moment by Abraham Linik
On A Night Of The Full Moon by Audre Lorde
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Ewan Maccoll
And Sunday Morning by Christian Mcewen
Kiss by Corey Mesler
Descending by David Meuel
Finishing Touches by David Meuel
The Outpouring by David Meuel
Ten Years Together by David Meuel
What Makes It Good by David Meuel
Listener by Joseph Millar
Cornfield by Gail Morse
I Give You My Tongue by Patrick Mulrooney
Afterword by Ginger Murchison
Creation by Dara Prisamt Murray
Full Summer by Sharon Olds
I Cannot Forget The Woman In The Mirror by Sharon Olds
I Love It When by Sharon Olds
Last Night by Sharon Olds
Skinsong by Trudi Paraha
Spilling by Trudi Paraha
Whaia I Te Po by Trudi Paraha
Axis by Octavio Paz
Lightning At Rest by Octavio Paz
Touch by Octavio Paz
Bio Logos by Molly Peacock
Shaving Night Sonnet by Debra Pennington
Bones by Roger Pfingston
A Good Afternoon by Roger Pfingston
Occasion by Roger Pfingston
Little Acts Of Love by Marge Piercy
The Real Hearth by Marge Piercy
Wet by Marge Piercy
Alicante by Jacques Prevert
On Entering The Sea by Nizzar (nizar) Qabbani
This Night Only by Kenneth Rexroth
Oh Yeah by Charles Rossiter
Spring Overall. But Inside Us by Jelaluddin Rumi
Spring Paints The Countryside by Jelaluddin Rumi
The Ordinary Day Begins by June Sylvester Saraceno
The Tenth Kiss by Joannes Secundus
The Kiss by Anne Sexton
Fires by Floyd Skloot
Touches by Floyd Skloot
Breakfast In Bed by Michael S. Smith
The Water Cycle by Alison Stone
In Victoria's Secret, Near The Bras by Wally Swist
Redbud by Wally Swist
I Woke Up by Patti Tana
Laughing Thoroughbreds by Patti Tana
Lineaments Of Desire by Patti Tana
In The Kitchen by Alexander Taylor
Good by Bruce Taylor
I Want To Love You With Every Piece Of This Body by James Tipton
In The Absence Of Ocean by Alison Townsend
All Year Long by Anonymous
Aubade by Anonymous
The Enjoyment by Anonymous
Her Eyes In Sleep by Anonymous
Coming Together by Jeff Walt
Heat In The Body by David Watts
Love Poem by Sarah Brown Weitzman
Cloudburst by Edward L. Wier
Aubade by Robert Wrigley
Sun And Moon by Gina Zeitlin
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; Reprint edition (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577311337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577311331
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Eileen G. on May 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This well-meaning little anthology succeeds on several levels. Editor Wendy Maltz has collected 120 poems, from various times and places, on the not at all small topic of sexual love. Maltz explains in her Introduction that she has spent a lot of years pondering the subject - in her work and her life. In addition, Maltz loves poetry and is eager to promote its inestimable ability to provoke desire, describe physical and emotional states - and above all else express what may have hitherto been inexpressible. This collection meets her goals.
It is 'erotica,' and these terrific poems are definitely and unabashedly about the real thing. Should you leave it around the house? If you don't object to teenagers (for example) reading poetry of sexual experience that promotes love and some sweetness along with the passion - you can most assuredly leave it around the house. There is no gender bias or sexual orientation bias, although there is also no overt campaigning, either.
There is flirtation and playfulness (Nikki Giovanni's 'That Day": " if you've got the key/then I've got the door"). Intense sensuality (Sharon Olds, Walter Benton, David Watts, Neil Carpathias, Laura Gourlay - among many more.) The reader is treated to ways of talking about love and sex that are fresh and surprising. One poem (by Renaissance poet Johannes Secundas) has been translated from Latin. Powerful stuff - that would have enlivened many a Latin class.
Unfortunately there is no information on the contributors other than the fulfillment of the legal requirement of Permissions Acknowledgements. The reader is left to his or her own devices to find out more. The title sounds faintly oxymoronic. In addition the poems are presented without dates of either composition or publication.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Sex within a context of real love, commitment, and safety is expansive and deeply pleasurable." ~Wendy Maltz

Until I started writing my own poetry; there was no way to realize the depth of emotion present in intimate poems. How do you even remember everything that happens when almost unaware of time itself and captured in a mystery or moment of breathless wonder?

Do poets hover above themselves in some dreamlike state observing this ecstatic union awaiting its birth in words? Does the soul watch the body's pleasure, silently? It seems it does because when poems arrive often they spill out onto the page in line after line of meaningful remembrance without much effort or thought. These types of poems seem born of longing, fantasy, dreams and the ancient desires all humans share. There is also humor in some of the rhymes or a casual elegance.

Nikki Giovanni brings an amusing style to her poetry in "That Day." The poem dances with the pleasure of the rhyme.

if you've got the key
then i've got the door
let's do what we did
when we did it before

Peeling an Orange by Virginia Hamilton Adair also shows the playfulness of love as two lovers play with oranges and the spicy scent of orange oil fills the air.

There are poems that are more direct and sensual and they explore the depths of the human experience and often express our desire to feel loved until our bodies vibrate at a higher frequency. This subtle purr or contentment after a loving experience can actually be felt in the body, but it is often difficult to describe. Some of the lovers wish to die in this blissful state after union. Wendy Lee expresses this desire in "Seamless Beauty" where she wishes to "fall into a deep sleep and never wake up.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Astrida Valigorsky on January 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I went into the bookstore looking for a book to share with my current lover, and finally after spending an hour staring at the shelves found this little gem. The book is perfect, because it contains a wide variety of enriching language on the subject of love and sex... which is what I was seeking to share with my signfigant other. But it is also perfect because it makes one aware through reading that the common conceptions of sex that we see in mass media are so very dull compared to the variety present in this small volume. I think I'm going to drop a copy of this wrapped up discretely and anonomously on an over-sexed male co-worker's desk. The book is also perfect as a gift to man who hasn't grown out of his teenage (and porn industry soaked) ideas of sex. If he can spend some time reading it, it might blow his mind (and change his life). Why? Because this is a book that profoundly expresses that the best love and sex come out of the kind of intimacy that's pretty tough to find in a one-night stand.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra Barnes on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure is a lovely little book edited by Wendy Maltz, M.S.W. This is her fifth book on sexuality. She's a sex therapist and marriage counselor whose work has appeared in national magazines and on video.
Maltz says that "negative messages about sexual pleasure cause a lot of unnecessary personal suffering." She believes that understanding sexual pleasure will help people incorporate it into their own lives, while recognizing that "there are many different types and intensities of sexual pleasure." People's concept of pleasure also changes as they change.
She divided the book into five sections: anticipation and desire; self-awareness and discovery; admiration and appreciation; union and ecstasy; and afterglow and remembrance. Each section includes twenty or more poems. She includes the poetry of Marge Piercy, Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds, and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, as well as dozens of lesser-known poets.
Maltz says that "my goal in creating Intimate Kisses is to provide an erotic, yet sensitive, collection of poems that describe sexual pleasure based on intimacy." Readers will enjoy discovering that she met her goal.
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