These poems are graphic, describing all manner of encounters normally concealed behind closed doors: acts of love and betrayal, debauchery and generosity, ecstasy and even agony. Many of these poems are rarely printed gems or recent discoveries, but all show us that sex can nearly be as much fun to read about as . . .
The Poetry of Sex - a raucous, highly enjoyable anthology by acclaimed poet Sophie Hannah
We've been at it all summer, from the Canadian border to the edge of Mexico . . .
Romance and poetry seem to go hand in hand but - implicit, explicit, nuanced or starkly frank - sex itself has long been a staple subject for poets. In fact a great deal of erotic poetry rejects the distinction.
It's hard to imagine a more fruitful subject for poets than sex, in all its glorious manifestations: from desire and hope, through disappointment and confusion, to conclusion and consequence. And little has changed over the centuries, as Sophie Hannah's anthology vividly demonstrates, from Catullus pleading with Lesbos to Walt Whitman singing the body electric. Moods and attitudes may vary but the drive persists as does the desire to write about it.
Sophie Hannah's selection ranges from ancient Rome to modern New York, from gay to straight, but her principle has been to go low on the sugar and high on the excitement. The result is a raucous, highly enjoyable anthology.
From Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, this book is essential reading for poetry lovers and romantics everywhere. It is a perfect counterpart to the The New Penguin Book of Love Poetry and a wonderful companion to Sophie Hannah's own Selected Poems.
'Sophie Hannah is among the best at comprehending in rhyming verse the indignity of having a body and the nobility of having a heart' Guardian
'A shrewd and accurate observer of the world around her, and of her own life, she is often very funny' The Oldie
'The brightest young star in British poetry' Independent
Sophie Hannah has published five collections of poetry. Her fifth Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Award in 2007. Her Selected Poems is published by Penguin (revised edition, 2013). She is also the writer of bestselling psychological crime fiction, most recently The Carrier. Her novels have been translated into 24 languages. Born in Manchester, she now lives in Cambridge with her husband and children, and is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College.