Foreword Reviews

All We Know of Pleasure

Poetic Erotica by Women

All anthologists should be so lucky: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to gather the best erotic work by top female poets.” Off Enid Shomer went, wherever the trail led—to poems by Denise Levertov, Sharon Olds, Erica Jong, Anne Sexton, Nikki Giovanni, and Audre Lorde, in addition to Shomer’s own stellar work. She’s the author of seven works of poetry and fiction and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing from the Florida Humanities Council.

The Encounter

You came to the side of the bed
and sat staring at me.
Then you kissed me—I felt
hot wax on my forehead.
I wanted it to leave a mark:
that’s how I knew I loved you.
Because I wanted to be burned, stamped,
to have something in the end—
I drew the gown over my head;
a red flush covered my face and shoulders.
It will run its course, the course of fire,
Setting a cold coin on the forehead, between the eyes.
You lay beside me; your hand moved over my face
as though you had felt it also—
you must have known, then, how I wanted you.
We will always know that, you and I.
The proof will be my body.

LOUISE GLUCK

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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