Poetica Erotica

I have been sorting through the books in the bookcase trying to decide whether to sell them all or to keep them. Books are expensive to buy, even second hand books. As I will be in Italy I also have think about whats available in English to purchase. Even if I buy of international ebay I still have to pay postage etc. Still haven't decided whether to box them to come with me or sell them and start a new collection when I get there.

What I did find was this book called Poetica Erotica. I remember finding this at a thrift store years ago. I came home and shelved it and forgot about it as I am not a poetry girl. It is such an unassuming looking book for such a eye brow raising title. It has a plain navy hardback cover on a large heavy book with thick cream parchment pages. I wonder what the original dust jacket would have looked like?

It was first published in 1921 with this edition in 1927. As I started to read random pages this morning my first thought was "what the hell" followed by "holy shit" and on and on it goes.
770 pages full of 100's of erotic poems. This is definitely going to Italy with me as something to keep me warm on those snowed in nights. Did I say warm? I mean hot, roasting hot.

Here is a sample of the beginning of one poem. I had trouble finding one that was suitable for display and would not offend anyone! This is the most mild poem I could find. Written in 1680.
(I photographed another one)

(By Captain John Ayloffe. C. 1680)

When Venus naked from the sea arose,

She did not half so many charms expose,
Nor when for the decisive fruit she strove,
Showed Paris half so rich a view of love:

Nay, when she clasped Adonis in her arms,
The melting Goddess had not half your charms:

Less firm her snowy breasts, her skin less white,

Her lovely limbs less tempting to delight.

How then shall we express those charms below,
Which you and nature both forbear to show?

So fair an hostess, and so fair a sign,

Would force a trade, and recommend bad wine.

Water from such a spring is sweeter far,

Than all the clusters of the vintage are.
Let Bacchanalians and the empty beaux,
Hunt out Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.

To fetch some drops from that dear shady well,

Would all the nectar of the gods excel,

Your eyes assure us that you can dispense,

Peculiar joys for each peculiar sense:

Then having let us see, pray let us taste
Those dear concealed delights below the waist.

'Twere madness to expect...

*(uuumm you get the idea of what comes next!!!)

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