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Gay poetry

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon8315, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Any ideas? I can think of numerous love poems written assuming the opposite sex as the recipient but not any (apart from Valentine, which I hate) written by a gay man or woman assuming their partner as the reader. Can you?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Carol Anne Duffy has written some.
    badger_girl and aspensquiver_2 like this.
  3. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    I read a wonderful anthology back in the mid-noughties but my copy has disappeared and I can't find it on he net.
    I'm sure it was edited by an Aussie though
  4. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    How about Sappho and Cavafy in translation?
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    2 Samuel 1:26:

    I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
    Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Possibly some of Shakespeare's sonnets?
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    There's a Virago anthology of love poetry which as a fair amount of gay contributors. I don't have it to hand or I would give you some of the specific writers.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    19th-century English poet John Addington Symonds. He is known as an early advocate of male homosexual love and wrote many poems inspired by his own homosexual affairs. In “The Meeting of David and Jonathan” he writes:

    There by an ancient holm-oak huge and tough,
    Clasping the firm rock with gnarled roots and rough,
    He stayed their steps; and in his arms of strength
    Took David, and for sore love found at length
    Solace in speech, and pressure, and the breath
    Wherewith the mouth of yearning winnoweth
    Hearts overcharged for utterance. In that kiss
    Soul unto soul was knit and bliss to bliss.
    badger_girl likes this.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Or Edwin Morgan if you wanted men - not that it makes much difference to the poetry.

    One Cigarette
    No smoke without you, my fire.
    After you left,
    your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
    and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
    I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
    of so much love. One cigarette
    in the non-smoker’s tray.
    As the last spire
    trembles up, a sudden draught
    blows it winding into my face.
    Is it smell, is it taste?
    You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
    Out with the light.
    Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
    Till I hear the very ash
    sigh down among the flowers of brass
    I’ll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss.
    badger_girl likes this.
  10. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    WH Auden 'Stop all the Clocks' and others.
    badger_girl likes this.
  11. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    Stephen Spender has written some very beautiful and moving poems.
    I am very fond of this one:
    To T. A. R. H.
    by Stephen Spender
    Even whilst I watch him I am remembering
    The quick laugh of the wasp-gold eyes.
    The column turning from the staring window
    Even while I see I remember, for love
    Dips what it sees into a flood of memory
    Vaster than itself, and makes the seen
    Be drowned in all that past and future seeing
    Of the once seen. Thus what I wore I wear
    And shall wear always — the glint of the quick lids
    And the body's axle turning: these shall be
    What they are now within the might of Ever.
    Night when my life lies with no past or future
    But only endless space. It wakes and watches
    Hope and despair and the small vivid longings
    Gnaw the flesh, like minnows. Where it drank love
    It breathes in sameness. Here are
    The signs indelible. The wiry copper hair,
    And the notched mothlike lips, and that after all human
    Glance, which makes all else forgiven.
    badger_girl likes this.
  12. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    badger_girl likes this.
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    The Grand Old Duke of York has a gay subtext doesn't it?

    Sorry, couldn't resist that one. Blame it on the seventies. I'll get my coat.
    Alf58 likes this.
  14. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    He must have been a goer if he had 10,000 men!:eek:
  15. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Hehe! Thanks for Stop All The Clocks - forgot about that one. Some gorgeous poems here :)
  16. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter


    There were never strawberries
    like the ones we had
    that sultry afternoon
    sitting on the step
    of the open french window
    facing each other
    your knees held in mine
    the blue plates in our laps
    the strawberries glistening
    in the hot sunlight
    we dipped them in sugar
    looking at each other
    not hurrying the feast
    for one to come
    the empty plates
    laid on the stone together
    with the two forks crossed
    and I bent towards you
    sweet in that air
    in my arms
    abandoned like a child
    from your eager mouth
    the taste of strawberries
    in my memory
    lean back again
    let me love you

    let the sun beat
    on our forgetfulness
    one hour of all
    the heat intense
    and summer lightning
    on the Kilpatrick hills

    let the storm wash the plates

    Edwin Morgan
  17. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter


    When did your name
    change from a proper noun
    to a charm?

    Its three vowels
    like jewels
    on the thread of my breath.

    Its consonants
    brushing my mouth
    like a kiss.

    I love your name.
    I say it again and again
    in this summer rain.

    I see it,
    discreet in the alphabet,
    like a wish.

    I pray it
    into the night
    till its letters are light.

    I hear your name
    rhyming, rhyming,
    rhyming with everything.

    Carol Ann Duffy

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