As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m trying to read more poetry this year. I started with an anthology titled The Erotic Spirit edited by Sam Hamill. Tonight I perused Upon the Nipples of Julia’s Breast by Robert Herrick (1591-1674), To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet(1612-1672), and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678).
I suspect that anyone who has a degree in English Lit. is familiar with that last one. It’s one of my favorites. “Had we but world enough and time,/this coyness, lady, were no crime.” And those familiar with the work of Peter S. Beagle will recognize the title of one of his stories drawn from this poem, “The grave’s a fine and private place,/but none I think do there embrace.”
In a comment relating to my post about Rethinking Thin, Janni talked about those women who think they need to lose weight before they can live their lives. They ought to read this poem. While Marvell is sweet talking his mistress into putting out, he’s right about one thing: life is short. Live it now. “Let us roll all our strength and all/ our sweetness into one ball,/and tear our pleasures with rough strife/through the iron gates of life.”