“Sophie Hannah is among the best at comprehending in rhyming verse the indignity of having a body and the nobility of having a heart.”
“A shrewd and accurate observer of the world around her, and of her own life, she is often very funny.”
“The brightest young star in British poetry.”
THE POETRY OF SEX
Edited by Sophie Hannah
Romance and poetry seem to go hand in hand but – implicit, explicit, nuanced or starkly frank – sex itself has long been a staple subject for poets. In fact a great deal of erotic poetry rejects the distinction. It’s hard to imagine a more fruitful subject for poets than sex, in all its glorious manifestations: from desire and hope, through disappointment and confusion, to conclusion and consequence. And little has changed over the centuries, as Sophie Hannah’s anthology vividly demonstrates, from Catullus pleading with Lesbos to Walt Whitman singing the body electric. Moods and attitudes may vary but the drive persists as does the desire to write about it.
Sophie Hannah’s selection ranges from ancient Rome to modern New York, from gay to straight, but her principle has been to go low on the sugar and high on the excitement. The result is a raucous, highly enjoyable anthology.
From Shakespeare to Carol Ann Duffy, this book is essential reading for poetry lovers and romantics everywhere. It is a perfect counterpart to the The New Penguin Book of Love Poetry and a wonderful companion to Sophie Hannah’s own Selected Poems.
Sophie Hannah has published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Award in 2007. Her Selected Poems is published by Penguin (revised edition, 2013).
Latest Editions: Paperback/eBook