Annie, by Aleister Crowley

Léon Perrault - Petite fille au bouquet de fleurs
Léon Jean Bazile Perrault – Petite fille au bouquet de fleurs (1896)

Rosa Mundi, and other love-songs is a collection of 28 numbered poems, first published in 1905. It starts with a very long poem, itself called “Rosa Mundi.” Poems numbered 4 to 13 are titled by names of girls. The most charming is the fourth, where a boy secretly offers three flowers to a girl, but in return she has only one secret flower to offer him. 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…

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…

Ode to Sappho, by Aleister Crowley

Gustav Klimt - Sappho
Gustav Klimt – Sappho (c.1888-90) – from Wikimedia Commons

Crowley’s 1905 collection Oracles, subtitled The Biography of an Art, consists of unpublished poems written between 1886 and 1903. According to The 100th Monkey Press, Crowley had planned to publish a special limited edition, printed in one hundred copies only, and containing additional matter; however it never materialized. Moreover, ten poems in it were originally meant to appear in a separate collection titled Green Alps, which was never published, as a fire at the publisher destroyed it. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…