Friday, 3 June 2016

Vegetable Love

Winter, by Guiseppe Arcimboldo, 1573
My bad poetry posted earlier this week reminded me of an absolute gem of erotic poetry I came across recently:  Robert Herrick's The Vine.

Herrick (1591-1674) was a contemporary of the Metaphysical Poets. I believe the definition of metaphysical poetry boils down to an intense interest in
1) getting laid,
2) forcing metaphors through the hymen of credulity and right up the long and winding vagina of embarrassing crassness (see what I did there?).
Not many modern smutwriters, for example, would stoop to arousing their characters or readers by reminding them that their putrescent vulvas will one day be eaten out by maggots, like Marvell:

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust

Or by remarking that they are crawling with fleas, like Donne:

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, 
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be

Anyway, here's Herrick's The Vine, in all its hortiphallic glory:

"I dream'd this mortal part of mine
Was metamorphos’d to a vine;
Which crawling one and every way,
Enthrall’d my dainty Lucia.
Me thought, her long small legs and thighs
I with my tendrils did surprise;
Her belly, buttocks, and her waist
By my soft nerv’lits were embrac’d:
About her head I writhing hung,
And with rich clusters (hid among
The leaves) her temples I behung:
So that my Lucia seem’d to me
Young Bacchus ravisht by his tree.
My curles about her neck did crawl,
And arms and hands they did enthrall:
So that she could not freely stir,
(All parts there made one prisoner).
But when I crept with leaves to hide
Those parts, which maids keep unespy’d,
Such fleeting pleasures there I took,
That with the fancy I awoke;
And found (ah me!) this flesh of mine
More like a stock, then like a vine."

He's got wood, as they say...

Of course, if you like flora-themed sex, there's always this fine collection of suspicious-looking vegetables ;-)

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