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Best Famous Erica Jong Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Erica Jong poems. This is a select list of the best famous Erica Jong poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Erica Jong poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Erica Jong poems.

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by Erica Jong | |

People Who Live

 People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
They copy the curves of the waves, their hearts beat with the tides, & the saltiness of their blood corresponds with the sea.
They know that the house of flesh is only a sandcastle built on the shore, that skin breaks under the waves like sand under the soles of the first walker on the beach when the tide recedes.
Each of us walks there once, watching the bubbles rise up through the sand like ascending souls, tracing the line of the foam, drawing our index fingers along the horizon pointing home.

by Erica Jong | |

Parable Of The Four-Poster

 Because she wants to touch him, 
she moves away.
Because she wants to talk to him, she keeps silent.
Because she wants to kiss him, she turns away & kisses a man she does not want to kiss.
He watches thinking she does not want him.
He listens hearing her silence.
He turns away thinking her distant & kisses a girl he does not want to kiss.
They marry each other - A four-way mistake.
He goes to bed with his wife thinking of her.
Sher goes to bed with her husband thinking of him.
-& all this in a real old-fashioned four-poster bed.
Do they live unhappily ever after? Of course.
Do they undo their mistakes? Never.
Who is the victim here? Love is the victim.
Who is the villian? Love that never dies.

by Erica Jong | |

Middle Aged Lovers II

 You open to me
a little,
then grow afraid
and close again,
a small boy
fearing to be hurt,
a toe stubbed
in the dark,
a finger cut
on paper.
I think I am free of fears, enraptured, abandoned to the call of the Bacchae, my own siren, tied to my own mast, both Circe and her swine.
But I too am afraid: I know where life leads.
The impulse to join, to confess all, is followed by the impulse to renounce, and love-- imperishable love-- must die, in order to be reborn.
We come to each other tentatively, veterans of other wars, divorce warrants in our hands which we would beat into blossoms.
But blossoms will not withstand our beatings.
We come to each other with hope in our hands-- the very thing Pandora kept in her casket when all the ills and woes of the world escaped.

by Erica Jong | |

LoveSpell: Against Endings

 All the endings in my life
rise up against me
like that sea of troubles
Shakespeare mixed
with metaphors;
like Vikings in their boats
singing Wagner,
like witches
burning at
the stake--
I submit
to my fate.
I know beginnings, their sweetnesses, and endings, their bitternesses-- but I do not know continuance-- I do not know the sweet demi-boredom of life as it lingers, of man and wife regarding each other across a table of shared witnesses, of the hand-in-hand dreams of those who have slept a half-century together in a bed so used and familiar it is rutted with love.
I would know that before this life closes, a soulmate to share my roses-- I would make a spell with long grey beard hairs and powdered rosemary and rue, with the jacket of a tux for a tall man with broad shoulders, who loves to dance; with one blue contact lens for his bluest eyes; with honey in a jar for his love of me; with salt in a dish for his love of sex and skin; with crushed rose petals for our bed; with tubes of cerulean blue and vermilion and rose madder for his artist's eye; with a dented Land-Rover fender for his love of travel; with a poem by Blake for his love of innocence revealed by experience; with soft rain and a bare head; with hand-in-hand dreams on Mondays and the land of fuck on Sundays; with mangoes, papayas and limes, and a house towering above the sea.
Muse, I surrender to thee.
Thy will be done, not mine.
If this love spell pleases you, send me this lover, this husband, this dancing partner for my empty bed and let him fill me from now until I die.
I offer my bones, my poems, my luck with roses, and the secret garden I have found walled in my center, and the sunflower who raises her head despite her heavy seeds.
I am ready now, Muse, to serve you faithfully even with a graceful dancing partner-- for I have learned to stand alone.
Give me your blessing.
Let the next epithalamion I write be my own.
And let it last more than the years of my life-- and without the least strain-- two lovers bareheaded in a summer rain.

by Erica Jong | |

Nursing You

 On the first night
of the full moon,
the primeval sack of ocean
& I gave birth to you
little woman,
little carrot top,
little turned-up nose,
pushing you out of myself
as my mother
me out of herself,
as her mother did,
& her mother's mother before her,
all of us born
of woman.
I am the second daughter of a second daughter of a second daughter, but you shall be the first.
You shall see the phrase "second sex" only in puzzlement, wondering how anyone, except a madman, could call you "second" when you are so splendidly first, conferring even on your mother firstness, vastness, fullness as the moon at its fullest lights up the sky.
Now the moon is full again & you are four weeks old.
Little lion, lioness, yowling for my breasts, rowling at the moon, how I love your lustiness, your red face demanding, your hungry mouth howling, your screams, your cries which all spell life in large letters the color of blood.
You are born a woman for the sheer glory of it, little redhead, beautiful screamer.
You are no second sex, but the first of the first; & when the moon's phases fill out the cycle of your life, you will crow for the joy of being a woman, telling the pallid moon to go drown herself in the blue ocean, & glorying, glorying, glorying in the rosy wonder of your sunshining wondrous self.

by Erica Jong | |

The Poet Fears Failure

 The poet fears failure
& so she says
"Hold on pen--
what if the critics
hate me?"
& with that question
she blots out more lines
than any critic could.
The critic is only doing his job: keeping the poet lonely.
He barks like a dog at the door when the master comes home.
It's in his doggy nature.
If he didn't know the poet for the boss, he wouldn't bark so loud.
& the poet? It's in her nature to fear failure but not to let that fear blot out her lines.

by Erica Jong | |

Ordinary Miracles

 Spring, rainbows,
ordinary miracles
about which
nothing new can be said.
The stars on a clear night of a New England winter; the soft air of the islands along the old Spanish Main; pirate gold shining in the palm; the odor of roses to the lover's nose.
There is no more poetry to be written of these things.
The rainbow's sudden revelation-- behold! The cliché is true! What can one say but that? So too with you, little heart, little miracle, but you are no less miracle for being ordinary.

by Erica Jong | |


 Can you imagine the air filled with smoke?
It was.
The city was vanishing before noon or was it earlier than that? I can't say because the light came from nowhere and went nowhere.
This was years ago, before you were born, before your parents met in a bus station downtown.
She'd come on Friday after work all the way from Toledo, and he'd dressed in his only suit.
Back then we called this a date, some times a blind date, though they'd written back and forth for weeks.
What actually took place is now lost.
It's become part of the mythology of a family, the stories told by children around the dinner table.
No, they aren't dead, they're just treated that way, as objects turned one way and then another to catch the light, the light overflowing with smoke.
Go back to the beginning, you insist.
Why is the air filled with smoke? Simple.
We had work.
Work was something that thrived on fire, that without fire couldn't catch its breath or hang on for life.
We came out into the morning air, Bernie, Stash, Williams, and I, it was late March, a new war was starting up in Asia or closer to home, one that meant to kill us, but for a moment the air held still in the gray poplars and elms undoing their branches.
I understood the moon for the very first time, why it came and went, why it wasn't there that day to greet the four of us.
Before the bus came a small black bird settled on the curb, fearless or hurt, and turned its beak up as though questioning the day.
"A baby crow," someone said.
Your father knelt down on the wet cement, his lunchbox balanced on one knee and stared quietly for a long time.
"A grackle far from home," he said.
One of the four of us mentioned tenderness, a word I wasn't used to, so it wasn't me.
The bus must have arrived.
I'm not there today.
The windows were soiled.
We swayed this way and that over the railroad tracks, across Woodward Avenue, heading west, just like the sun, hidden in smoke.

by Erica Jong | |

The End Of The World

 Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb---
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing --- nothing at all.

by Erica Jong | |


 The lover in these poems
is me;
the doctor,
He appears as husband, lover analyst & muse, as father, son & maybe even God & surely death.
All this is true.
The man you turn to in the dark is many men.
This is an open secret women share & yet agree to hide as if they might then hide it from themselves.
I will not hide.
I write in the nude.
I name names.
I am I.
The doctor's name is Love.