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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Just sayin'

Today in my survey classes I began by having my students work through the single sexiest poem of the entire period we're covering. I'd never actually taught this poem before, as it's just a bit long for a day when we're trying to cover a lot of ground, but today it seemed irresistible: it's rather lewd, tremendously funny, but also quite beautiful.

My morning class? Loved it. They succeeded in making the poem even dirtier than I'd originally believed it to be (in two cases they were actually misreading it, but in the third they were absolutely right: I'd missed a very salacious double-entendre), worked through some tough passages like champs, and I think learned a lot. We concluded our discussion, God help us, by considering what the poet himself might have looked like naked. Much merriment, much jollity.

My afternoon class? Eh. They got it--they just weren't particularly interested in it.

People, it's SEX! Naked people! And in an era where, apparently, you all believe that premarital sex was "absolutely forbidden" and that "just writing about it might have gotten him put in prison" (sadly, those are direct quotations from a paper I recently received).

I mean really. If sex doesn't sell, what's this world coming to?

link | posted by La Lecturess at 11:22 PM |


Blogger Hieronimo commented at 2:14 AM~  

Wait... you're not going to tell us what the sexiest poem is? Talk about a tease!

Here's my vote for one of the sexiest Renaissance poems (not so lewd, but there's something about it):

by Robert Herrick

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

Really it's the "liquefaction of her clothes" that's brilliant. And the way her clothes disappear in the caesura between stanzas.

Blogger Bardiac commented at 9:48 AM~  

I'm guessing one of Donne's poems, maybe the one where he's telling his "mistress" to undress? Or "The Vine." Or?

SHARE please!!

(and of COURSE no one had sex before they were married! They took abstinence vows and ... yeah, there were a LOT of miracles with babies born within 7 months of their parent's weddings surviving! Amazing but true stories!)

Blogger Simplicius commented at 12:18 PM~  

Does the poetry of Rochester count as sexy, or is he just dirty?

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 12:38 PM~  

Rochester: probably more dirty than sexy. But in any event, he's not covered by the parameters of this particular survey.

Herrick: definitely sexy.

But nothing, to my mind, is as sexy as JD addressing his America. (Bardiac got it--a second-time winner! She's good at this game.)

Blogger Bardiac commented at 7:45 PM~  

Of course I'm good at this game! I have a dirty mind! (And enough knowledge of the Christian Bible to get myself into trouble, alas.)

Perhaps it's best I only confess to those traits when I'm relatively anonymous?

/tinfoil hat ON!

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