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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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Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

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 **** 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.


Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

The Poem Cat

 Sometimes the poem
doesn't want to come;
it hides from the poet
like a playful cat
who has run
under the house
& lurks among slugs,
roots, spiders' eyes,
ledge so long out of the sun
that it is dank
with the breath of the Troll King.
Sometimes the poem darts away like a coy lover who is afraid of being possessed, of feeling too much, of losing his essential loneliness-which he calls freedom.
Sometimes the poem can't requite the poet's passion.
The poem is a dance between poet & poem, but sometimes the poem just won't dance and lurks on the sidelines tapping its feet- iambs, trochees- out of step with the music of your mariachi band.
If the poem won't come, I say: sneak up on it.
Pretend you don't care.
Sit in your chair reading Shakespeare, Neruda, immortal Emily and let yourself flow into their music.
Go to the kitchen and start peeling onions for homemade sugo.
Before you know it, the poem will be crying as your ripe tomatoes bubble away with inspiration.
When the whole house is filled with the tender tomato aroma, start kneading the pasta.
As you rock over the damp sensuous dough, making it bend to your will, as you make love to this manna of flour and water, the poem will get hungry and come just like a cat coming home when you least expect her.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Smoke

 Smoke, it is all smoke
in the throat of eternity.
.
.
.
For centuries, the air was full of witches Whistling up chimneys on their spiky brooms cackling or singing more sweetly than Circe, as they flew over rooftops blessing & cursing their kind.
We banished & burned them making them smoke in the throat of god; we declared ourselves "enlightened.
" "The dark age of horrors is past," said my mother to me in 1952, seven years after our people went up in smoke, leaving a few teeth, a pile of bones.
The smoke curls and beckons.
It is blue & lavender & green as the undersea world.
It will take us, too.
O let us not go sheepishly clinging to our nakedness.
But let us go like witches sucked heavenward by the Goddess' powerful breath & whistling, whistling, whistling on our beautiful brooms.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Autobiographical

 The lover in these poems
is me;
the doctor,
Love.
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.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Smoke

 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.


Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Dear Colette

 Dear Colette,
I want to write to you
about being a woman
for that is what you write to me.
I want to tell you how your face enduring after thirty, forty, fifty.
.
.
hangs above my desk like my own muse.
I want to tell you how your hands reach out from your books & seize my heart.
I want to tell you how your hair electrifies my thoughts like my own halo.
I want to tell you how your eyes penetrate my fear & make it melt.
I want to tell you simply that I love you-- though you are "dead" & I am still "alive.
" Suicides & spinsters-- all our kind! Even decorous Jane Austen never marrying, & Sappho leaping, & Sylvia in the oven, & Anna Wickham, Tsvetaeva, Sara Teasdale, & pale Virginia floating like Ophelia, & Emily alone, alone, alone.
.
.
.
But you endure & marry, go on writing, lose a husband, gain a husband, go on writing, sing & tap dance & you go on writing, have a child & still you go on writing, love a woman, love a man & go on writing.
You endure your writing & your life.
Dear Colette, I only want to thank you: for your eyes ringed with bluest paint like bruises, for your hair gathering sparks like brush fire, for your hands which never willingly let go, for your years, your child, your lovers, all your books.
.
.
.
Dear Colette, you hold me to this life.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Autumn Perspective

 Now, moving in, cartons on the floor,
the radio playing to bare walls,
picture hooks left stranded
in the unsoiled squares where paintings were,
and something reminding us
this is like all other moving days;
finding the dirty ends of someone else's life,
hair fallen in the sink, a peach pit,
and burned-out matches in the corner;
things not preserved, yet never swept away
like fragments of disturbing dreams
we stumble on all day.
.
.
in ordering our lives, we will discard them, scrub clean the floorboards of this our home lest refuse from the lives we did not lead become, in some strange, frightening way, our own.
And we have plans that will not tolerate our fears-- a year laid out like rooms in a new house--the dusty wine glasses rinsed off, the vases filled, and bookshelves sagging with heavy winter books.
Seeing the room always as it will be, we are content to dust and wait.
We will return here from the dark and silent streets, arms full of books and food, anxious as we always are in winter, and looking for the Good Life we have made.
I see myself then: tense, solemn, in high-heeled shoes that pinch, not basking in the light of goals fulfilled, but looking back to now and seeing a lazy, sunburned, sandaled girl in a bare room, full of promise and feeling envious.
Now we plan, postponing, pushing our lives forward into the future--as if, when the room contains us and all our treasured junk we will have filled whatever gap it is that makes us wander, discontented from ourselves.
The room will not change: a rug, or armchair, or new coat of paint won't make much difference; our eyes are fickle but we remain the same beneath our suntans, pale, frightened, dreaming ourselves backward and forward in time, dreaming our dreaming selves.
I look forward and see myself looking back.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Climbing You

 I want to understand the steep thing
that climbs ladders in your throat.
I can't make sense of you.
Everywhere I look you're there-- a vast landmark, a volcano poking its head through the clouds, Gulliver sprawled across Lilliput.
I climb into your eyes, looking.
The pupils are black painted stage flats.
They can be pulled down like window shades.
I switch on a light in your iris.
Your brain ticks like a bomb.
In your offhand, mocking way you've invited me into your chest.
Inside: the blur that poses as your heart.
I'm supposed to go in with a torch or maybe hot water bottles & defrost it by hand as one defrosts an old refrigerator.
It will shudder & sigh (the icebox to the insomniac).
Oh there's nothing like love between us.
You're the mountain, I am climbing you.
If I fall, you won't be all to blame, but you'll wait years maybe for the next doomed expedition.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

After the Earthquake

 After the first astounding rush,
after the weeks at the lake,
the crystal, the clouds, the water lapping the rocks,
the snow breaking under our boots like skin,
& the long mornings in bed.
.
.
After the tangos in the kitchen, & our eyes fixed on each other at dinner, as if we would eat with our lids, as if we would swallow each other.
.
.
I find you still here beside me in bed, (while my pen scratches the pad & your skin glows as you read) & my whole life so mellowed & changed that at times I cannot remember the crimp in my heart that brought me to you, the pain of a marriage like an old ache, a husband like an arthritic knuckle.
Here, living with you, love is still the only subject that matters.
I open to you like a flowering wound, or a trough in the sea filled with dreaming fish, or a steaming chasm of earth split by a major quake.
You changed the topography.
Where valleys were, there are now mountains.
Where deserts were, there now are seas.
We rub each other, but we do not wear away.
The sand gets finer & our skins turn silk.
Written by Erica Jong | Create an image from this poem

Henry James in the Heart of the City

 We have a small sculpture of Henry James on our terrace in New York City.
Nothing would surprise him.
The beast in the jungle was what he saw-- Edith Wharton's obfuscating older brother.
.
.
He fled the demons of Manhattan for fear they would devour his inner ones (the ones who wrote the books) & silence the stifled screams of his protagonists.
To Europe like a wandering Jew-- WASP that he was-- but with the Jew's outsider's hunger.
.
.
face pressed up to the glass of sex refusing every passion but the passion to write the words grew more & more complex & convoluted until they utterly imprisoned him in their fairytale brambles.
Language for me is meant to be a transparency, clear water gleaming under a covered bridge.
.
.
I love his spiritual sister because she snatched clarity from her murky history.
Tormented New Yorkers both, but she journeyed to the heart of light-- did he? She took her friends on one last voyage, through the isles of Greece on a yacht chartered with her royalties-- a rich girl proud to be making her own money.
The light of the Middle Sea was what she sought.
All denizens of this demonic city caught between pitch and black long for the light.
But she found it in a few of her books.
.
.
while Henry James discovered what he had probably started with: that beast, that jungle, that solipsistic scream.
He did not join her on that final cruise.
(He was on his own final cruise).
Did he want to? I would wager yes.
I look back with love and sorrow at them both-- dear teachers-- but she shines like Miss Liberty to Emma Lazarus' hordes, while he gazes within, always, at his own impenetrable jungle.
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