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Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure Paperback – December 12, 2003
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Top customer reviews
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. No index of first lines, either. Wonderful poets such as these deserve the kid-glove treatment, and all the publicity they can get. These gripes aside, this is a book of poetry that is well worth reading and rereading.
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."
Many of the poems contain nature images, especially water, the moon and surprisingly...many images of moths. What more could I wish for? There are swarms of luminous moths or ecstasy in a desert sea. A few of the poems have culinary themes. Jay Farbstein remembers a scene in the kitchen and how the pleasure of tastes turns into a worshipful experience.
Mostly, this is beautiful creative writing with a sensual theme. There are poems reflecting on past loves, poems about intense sensual encounters (Making Love by Walt Farran) and others where the poet wishes for future fulfillment. Like in Thirst by Linda Alexander:
Like a blade of summer grass
turning towards a fragrance
of rain caught in the air's
cooling, I come back to you
Wendy Maltz has created a sensitive and sacred sanctuary of healthy sexual experience in which lovers give sexuality a unique voice filled with imagination and metaphor. This is beyond romance, but never abusive or degrading. There is still a subtle mystery present in most of the poems. I loved the images in On Entering the Sea where Nizar Qabbani speaks of his experience as a "sliding under the skin of water...like writing with jasmine water."
The poems are divided into five chapters: Anticipation & Desire, Self-Awareness & Discovery, Admiration & Appreciation, Union & Ecstasy and Afterglow & Remembrance.
The poets featured: Marge Piercy, Emily Dickinson, Patti Tana, Robert Browning, Robin Jacobson, Linda Alexander, Floyd Skloot, George Keithley, David Meuel, Debra Pennington Davis, Penny Harter, Nikki Giovanni, Rumi, Trudi Paraha, Vigrinia Hamilton Adair, Stephen Dunn, Abigail Albrecht, Sharon Olds, Octavio Paz, Nizar Qabbani, Anon, Cummings, Kenneth Rexroth, June Sylvester Saraceno and Penny Harter.
What is especially delicious about this book of poetry is the introduction to a variety of new poets. For many of the poets, this is the first time their poems were published. I fell in love with Trudi Paraha's poetry. Her descriptions of painting love poems over sheets went beyond creative. She plays with words as if they owned her heart.
The erotic human experience is often a place of immense pleasure and most of the poets in this book seem to be writing from a place of relationship, trust and honesty. There is a nurturing quality to the lust, a beautiful connection between souls and an almost spiritual element in the union of lovers in a comforting embrace and heartfelt connection.
David Meuel's poems are especially interesting. He speaks of talking in touches and listening to each other's fingertips. In just a few sentences he can create amazing situations of desire. "What Makes It Good" shows his talent and "Ten Years Together" displays a rare intimacy between souls.
While you may think of erotic poems as poetry to excite passion, I found many of these poems were dipped in pleasure, but still retained an element of comfort. This is the type of book you can read at night before you go to bed and it may even produce beautiful dreams of the person you love. Intimate Kisses is as much a kiss for the mind as for the heart.
Something like my soul slips from me
and goes to you,
without choice or question,
and wraps itself around you
all night, like the breath
of the moon
Intimate Kisses is an excellent choice is you have longed to know the experience of poets who can deftly describe the devotional side of desire. If you love this book, you may want to look for Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love. I can highly recommend both selections because they focus on positive images of sexual love.
~The Rebecca Review
I recommend this book to everyone, be they long time lovers, in new relationships, young or old, as an enjoyable read and path to greater intimacy.
Part one, anticipation and desire has 24 poems. Part two. Self-awareness and discovery has 18 poems. The third part, admiration and appreciation have 29 poems. Part four, union and ecstasy has 25 poems. The final part, afterglow and remembrance has 23 poems. Even though there are some poets in this collection who are well known; however, most of the contributions are lesser known poets. One of the many things I love about this collection is that most of the poems chosen for this anthology are not overly long, which I thank the editor for her insight.
If you are into all kinds of poetry, and also love erotic poetry this is a must read book. I personally think it is fantastic.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: The Samurai Soul: An old warrior’s poetic tribute).
Most recent customer reviews
It is needed in the current time we live in.
Great gift idea for weddings and Valentine's Day.