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"And Never Know the Joy"

Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry

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<I>“And Never Know the Joy” </I>: <I> Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry</I> promises the reader much to enjoy and to reflect on: riddles and sex games; the grammar of relationships; the cunning psychology of bodily fantasies; sexuality as the ambiguous performance of words; the allure of music and its instruments; the erotics of death and remembrance, are just a few of the initial themes that emerge from the twenty-five articles to be found in this volume, with many an invitation “to seize the day”. Reproduction, pregnancy, and fear; discredited and degraded libertines; the ventriloquism of sexual objects; the ease with which men are reduced to impotence by the carnality of women; orgasm and melancholy; erotic mysticism and religious sexuality; the potency and dangers of fruit and flowers; the delights of the recumbent male body and of dancing girls; the fertile ritual use of poetic texts; striptease and revolution; silent women reclaimed as active vessels, are amongst the many engaging topics that emerge out of the ongoing and entertaining scholarly discussion of sex and eroticism in English poetry.

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