Marjory Fleming’s love of “well made Bucks”

Marjory Fleming - National Library of Scotland
Marjory Fleming – National Library of Scotland

Marjory Fleming was not a really beautiful girl. In her first journal of spring and summer 1810 (when she was 7 years old), she wrote:

—I am very strong & robust & not of the delicate sex nor of the fair but of the deficient in look People who are deficient in looks can make up for it by virtue.

In a letter to Marjory’s sister Isabella, dated April 1, 1811, her cousin Isabella Keith wrote: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Asmodel, by Aleister Crowley

Sulamith Wülfing - Flower
Sulamith Wülfing – Flower (1931) – from Pigtails in Paint

This is a beautiful and strange poem about a loved girl who seems to come from an outer world, maybe from dreams, or from a star, a spiritual bride descending on the bed of the desiring poet, and their mystical union mixes extasy with agony. Both erotic and esoteric, full of hidden meanings, these verses are difficult to interpret. The 1905 edition of the poem states that the title means: ‘One of the “Intelligences” of the Planet Venus.’ CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Song III, by Eric Stenbock

Jock Sturges - Nikki and Lotte, Montalivet
Jock Sturges – Nikki and Lotte, Montalivet

Myrtle, Rue and Cypress (subtitled A Book of Poems, Songs, and Sonnets), Stenbock’s second collection of verses, was published by Hatchards (Picadilly, London) in 1883, and reprinted by Hermitage Books in 1992. This latter edition was digitized for Internet Archive. In 2018, S N Books World (Delhi, India) reprinted it. As with other cheap Indian reprints, the page layout is faulty, with odd-numbered pages on the left and even-numbered pages on the right. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Martial’s epigram on Canace

Sarcophagus of a Roman girl
Sarcophagus of a Roman girl – from classicalanthology.theclassicslibrary.com

The Latin Poet Martial (b. 38–41 AD, d. 102–104 AD), known for his ferocious satires in his Epigrams, also showed often in his writing a humane and compassionate personality, in particular towards the most powerless people: children and slaves. In particular Epigram 11.91 mourns a 7-year-old girl who died after having been disfigured by a horrible disease. The saddest thing is not death, but how it came. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Aleister Crowley parodies Lewis Carroll

John Tenniel - The White Knight, In Through the Looking-Glass
John Tenniel – The White Knight, In Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1897)

Crowley’s The Sword of Song (1904) consists mainly of two long poems, ‘Ascension Day’ and ‘Pentecost,’ both critical of Christianity; they are preceded by an Introduction and followed by lengthy notes. The title, with its subtitle and long dedication, is itself rather ironic: CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Martial’s epigrams on Erotion

Tonbridge - post-mortem photograph
Tonbridge – post-mortem photograph

The Latin Poet Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English as Martial), born between 38 and 41 AD and who died between 102 and 104 AD, is known for his Epigrams, a collection of short poems grouped into 12 “Books”. The original poems in Latin can be found in The Latin Library, Bibliotheca Augustana and Wikisource. Here I will use the English translation given by The Tertullian Project. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

In a lesbian meadow, by Aleister Crowley

William-Adolphe Bouguereau - Les noisettes
William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Les noisettes (1882) – from The Athenaeum

In Crowley’s collection Oracles, the poem “Ode to Sappho” is immediately followed by its companion “In a lesbian meadow,” on the same topic of love between girls. Through these beautiful verses shines a soft eroticism, mixing tender kisses with the beauties of nature—indeed, arising from true love. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…