Is That A Poem In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Just be happy I didn't Photoshop penises onto here.

Just be happy I didn’t Photoshop penises onto here.

Today Middle Path is quirkily lined with poetry from some of the greatest wordsmiths of all time. Shakespeare! Keats! Eliot! But you know what all poetry is really about? Phalluses. Freud was right — we are always thinking about genitals, and poets have had a unique relationship with the nether regions of human beings. Being that today is such a special day amongst the verse-writing-and-reading community, it seems inappropriate that just any poem would land in your pocket. So here we go — The Thrill‘s list of poems that truly belong in your pocket, soft paper that’s just a few thin layers of cloth away from what they’re really about.

I mean, limericks are the natural choice for naughty poetry, like this naughty standard:

There once was a man from Peru,

who fell asleep in a canoe.

While dreaming of Venus,

he played with his penis

and woke-up all covered in goo.

But being Kenyon students and following the legacies of such greats as John Crowe Ransom, E.L. Doctorow and John Green, we typically like our poetry to be a bit more obscure and pretentious. Start with Rilke’s Seven Phallic Poems from the collection Love and Other Difficulties. There you’ll find gorgeous verse that fulfills all you need in your pocket.

How I called you. This is the mute call
Which within me has grown sweet awhile.
Now step after step into you I thrust all
And my semen climbs gladly like a child.
You primal peak of pleasure: suddenly well-nigh
Breathless it leaps to your inner ridge.
O surrender yourself to feeling its pilgrimage;
For you’ll be hurled down when it waves on high.
-Rilke, Phallic Poem VII, translated by J.B. Leishman
Rilke not your speed? No big deal. Not everyone appreciates the Germans. I get that. Check out A.D. Hope’s Phallus. A select quote:
Love, a romantic slime
That lubricates his way
Against the stream of Time.
If you’ve taken an English class dealing remotely with methods of seduction, you’ve probably read John Donne’s The Flea, but have you tried D.H. Lawrence’s rabbit imagery in Love on the Farm? Some even suggest that the famed sparrow in Catullus 3 is phallic, though that’s hotly disputed amongst scholars.
But there is truly one penis-themed poem that will outlive even the great classical Catullus: Willie Nelson’s The Penis Poem, written on the occasion of his 75th birthday.
My nookie days are over,
My pilot light is out.
What used to be my sex appeal,
Is now my water spout.
Time was when, on its own accord,
From my trousers it would spring.
But now I’ve got a full time job,
To find the gosh darn thing.
It used to be embarrassing,
The way it would behave.
For every single morning,
It would stand and watch me shave.
Now as old age approaches,
It sure gives me the blues.
To see it hang its little head,
And watch me tie my shoes!!
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day, Kenyon, and may your pockets always find suitable-enough words to mask your depraved desires with pretentious verse.

One response

  1. Wait, since when is Catullus 3 hotly disputed among scholars and by which scholars? “Passer”is clearly a double entendre here.

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