Bringing Sexy Back (To Valentine’s Day): 15 Steamy Poems by Esteemed Poets

Toss that teddy bear and give your significant person the gift of verse this Valentine’s Day.

Red Rose Petals by Victor Habbick, courtesy

Red Rose Petals by Victor Habbick, courtesy

That poet everyone reads at weddings is actually much more appropriate for the bedroom:

e. e. cummings, “i like my body when it is with your” 

An unsexy title for a very sexy poem (check out those ellipses!): 

Li-young Lee, “This Room and Everything In It”

The “Oh, snap” kind of sexy:

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “I, being born a woman and distressed”:

Wistful sexy:

C. P. Cavafy, “Body, remember”

Bitter sexy:

Thomas Wyatt. “They Flee from Me”

Literate sexy:

Robert Hass, “Etymology” (start watching at 18:42)

Damn sexy:

Audre Lorde, “Recreation

Desire, frustration, and jewelry. Also: socioeconomic tension. (And the first overtly lesbian poem I read as a teenager. Bit of a lightbulb moment, there.)

Carol Ann Duffy, “Warming her Pearls”

Difficult to choose just one Donne poem, but hey, let’s go with the salute to nakedness:

John Donne, “To His Mistress Going to Bed”

Restraint and abandonment, all at once:

Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights – Wild Nights! (269)”

For the Dear Readers who are also parents: 

Galway Kinnel, “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps”

Maybe this is where they got the title for Blue is the Warmest Color:

May Swenson, “Blue”

I hate birds, but this poem is still amazing: 

Henri Cole, “Loons”

You’ll never look at roses the same way again, I promise:

D.H. Lawrence, “Gloire de Dijon”

And yes, a Neruda poem. But I can’t find it anywhere on the interwebs, so you’ll have to go find a copy of World’s End or Late and Posthumous Poems for yourself. 

Pablo Neruda, “Física”/”Physics”

Your turn: what’s the sexiest poem you’ve ever read?


14 thoughts on “Bringing Sexy Back (To Valentine’s Day): 15 Steamy Poems by Esteemed Poets

  1. I’ve only had a chance to check out a few so far but I love that you put this together! I also like how some of the poems look physically like a body, with the curves and slopes.

  2. The first one that popped into my head was the John Donne poem (followed closely by Edna St. Vincent Millay). I’ll have to think on this. I’ve honestly always considered Bob Dylan to be a poet, so my answer might include one of his songs. Hmmm…

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  4. Pingback: Literary Wives: The World’s Wife, by Carol Ann Duffy | Rosemary and Reading Glasses

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