Guest poem submitted by Juan:
(Poem #1003) The Connoisseuse of Slugs
When I was a connoisseuse of slugs I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the naked jelly of those gold bodies, translucent strangers glistening along the stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies at my mercy. Made mostly of water, they would shrivel to nothing if they were sprinkled with salt, but I was not interested in that. What I liked was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the odor of the wall, and stand there in silence until the slug forgot I was there and sent its antennae up out of its head, the glimmering umber horns rising like telescopes, until finally the sensitive knobs would pop out the ends, delicate and intimate. Years later, when I first saw a naked man, I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet mystery reenacted, the slow elegant being coming out of hiding and gleaming in the dark air, eager and so trusting you could weep.
This is one of my favorite "love" poems. I like the mystery and sense of discovery, "delicate and intimate", with not a note of eroticism or lubriciousness. The emphasis lies in the sense of surprise and wonder at the end, on the delicious naivete of the narrative voice. And what a trope! It reminds me of the eloquent conceits of the Metaphysical poets, especially John Donne. (cf. "The Flea", which is another love poem that might itself be appropriate this week!). Juan. [Minstrels Links] Love poems: Poem #997, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love -- Christopher Marlowe Poem #998, A Blade of Grass -- Brian Patten Poem #999, Casabianca -- Elizabeth Bishop Poem #1001, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd -- Sir Walter Raleigh Poem #1002, The Bait -- John Donne Poem #1003, The Connoisseuse of Slugs -- Sharon Olds Sharon Olds: Poem #812, Sex Without Love Poem #1003, The Connoisseuse of Slugs [Administrivia] Some of you may have received two copies of yesterday's poem, "The Bait" by John Donne, by mistake. Our apologies.