Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love

Passionate Hearts: The Poetry of Sexual Love

Wendy Maltz

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1577315677

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Compiled by renowned sex therapist and author Wendy Maltz, Passionate Hearts is a remarkable anthology of intimate, emotionally explicit, yet accessible poetry, representing new voices as well as the most revered contemporary poets. Culled from classic works of poetry, unpublished work solicited especially for the book, and poetry and erotica journals, these poems celebrate sexual connection and expression. Contributors include Sharon Olds, Gary Soto, E. E. cummings, Marge Piercy, Raymond Carver, Galway Kinnell, Pablo Neruda, and Tess Gallagher.

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passes from reach, some other life throating the air until it is utterly lovely and changed; how I am changed by you and change you, how we willingly hollow our throats for the song, how the music chains us, but the song — on a summer night, how it breaks and stops, how we falter and still the notes rise, beyond us, how they complete themselves in the silence and silence completes us, simple as those few notes that answer the dark on a summer night and fall still. jane hirshfield • 109•

believe in him as you always have, even after the failures, even more now as you set your coffee down and move toward him, to where he sits oblivious of you, concentrating in a square of sun — you step over the rulers and blue graph-paper to squat behind him, and he barely notices, though you’re still in your robe which falls open a little as you reach around his chest, feel for the pink wheel of each nipple, the slow beat of his heart, your ear pressed to his back to listen — and you are torn,

about making time to savor sexual pleasure: Imagine the magic of living together there, with all the time in the world for loving each other, . . .4 But within a few lines, he refers to his lover as “my sister, my child.” I shuddered to think how survivors of incest and rape would respond to the specific images I was finding, and how all of us would hear the wrong message reinforced, if I were to return to these poets for inspiration. I felt disillusioned that the traditional “love” poets whose

partner we know so well? In “Deeper Intimacies,” the fourth chapter, we see the possibilities for what might happen when a couple remains together and remains sexual for a long time. The poets show us how vulnerable we are when we truly open ourselves to another, yet how vast the opportunities are when we take that risk. The depth of emotional intimacy builds, generating peak experiences. These poems describe moments of conscious loving, in which the self and the partner are revealed. For those

inviting me in, feel your breath warm in my ear. I lean closer into you, feel your blood surge as you hold me and I echo • 40• T E N D E R AWA K E N I N G S the beat pulling on us as I wrap my legs around you and open as morning glories do when the sun warms them. connemara wadsworth • 41• Passionate Hearts FIRST NIGHT You came into my life with grace, giving me time to want all of you. That first night I couldn’t say whether your passion or your gentleness moved me more, the way we

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