Great Moments in Poetry #4: John Donne

“..in rank itchy lust, desire and love, the nakedness and bareness to enjoy, of thy plump muddy whore or prostitute boy”.

In 16th century London sex outside marriage was widespread. Young men of well to do families were sent off to Italy to receive their “education” and bring back a variety of pornographic books. One of the most famous ones is one by the poet Aretino, who wrote a series of pornographic sonnets. To stimulate further the reader’s imagination, the book was illustrated showing various sexual positions. There were plenty of English books with advice on the subject, such as Turner’s Herbal, which contained many tips on the use of certain herbs for the purposes of evoking the lustful urges of man and woman. Talking of artichokes he says, “…this herb provoketh lust in women so it abateththe same in men”, while saffron boiled in wine , except for repelling moths “keeps a man from drunkenness, but also encourageth into procreation of life” and leeks and onions were also said to stimulate the sexual appetite.
Shakespeare’s plays are filled with cryptic references to sex. For example, in Henry V, while Katharine is doing her English lesson, she pronounces the word ‘neck’ as ‘nick’, which in those days held a very obscene meaning to it.

Prostitution of course was also very popular and as men have always been prepared to pay extra for having a virgin, the Elizabethans came up with a liquid, which once applied would draw the muscles / tissue very closely together and stiffen them up, thus giving the ‘client’ the impression of virginity. Henry VIII had closed all brothels in 1546 but his son Edward VI later had them re-opened. The South Bank was the most popular place for brothels, but they could also be found in poverty-stricken areas of Westminster and Shoreditch – even to this day parts of Shoreditch carry on this legacy.

Homosexuality however, was punished by death as it was thought to violate all natural laws. Those expected to be involved in this kind of activity were the Catholic priests,(take note remora!!) actors and performers of all kinds and of course the local Satanist, who would also profess to having achieved this act with a number of evil spirits…

via: http://fascinatinghistory.blogspot.com.au/2005/04/sex-in-elizabethan-london.html

by Arthur Furrowfield

Posted in 1, Arthurs Potting Shed, Beer, Poetry, sex. Comments Off on Great Moments in Poetry #4: John Donne

Tue 27th March, 2012 will be… Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

If you’re rocking out to classics such such as “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better” or “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly”, then chances are you’re already well on the way to celebrating Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day.

by The Punjapit Alliance

Posted in 1, Art, Arthurs Potting Shed, Music, Poetry, They Said, WTF. Comments Off on Tue 27th March, 2012 will be… Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day

mother’s long skirt – a poem by lili han

suggested by aniie & remora

in the season of the rainbow©papa osmubal

mother used a pair of scissors
to cut a long skirt
abandoned by her daughter
she was making it for herself
the waist line was cut lower
the skirt’s hem was loosened an inch
before the mirror
still a long skirt for her
she complained about fat around the waist
busy looking for a coat to go with it
her daughter suggested a plain shirt
to match the skirt
she didn’t accept couldn’t understand
why the girls at the age of flowers
would like black, grey, white – plain tones
she had to wear
when she was young
because at that time
there were no other choices

finally, she chose a pink shirt
turned a full circle before the mirror
in the skirt with small blue-white flowers
as if her youth were back

via: http://macaupoetics.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/mothers-long-skirt/

posted by Elizabeth

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THE STEAMPUNK OPIUM WARS: Lin Zexu Just Says No!

Anna Chen – Madam Miaow gives us a useful history lesson….

Here’s the first extract from The Steampunk Opium Wars which debuted at the National Maritime Museum on Thursday.

The story so far …

The East India Company has been growing mass-produced opium in Bengal and swamping China with the narcotic, turning an aristocratic vice into a mass addiction. The Emperor calls in Commissioner Lin Zexu to enforce the ban on opium and stop the British drug smuggling operation.

Song: “Lin Zexu Just Says No!”

With Hugo Trebels, Louise Whittle, Anna Chen, John Crow, Paul Anderson. Music from Charles Shaar Murray and Marc Jefferies. Video footage by Jeff Willis — additional material by Oliver Shykles. Lin Zexu portrait by Sukey Parnell. Show still by Jan Jefferies. Edited by Anna Chen.

via : http://www.annachen.co.uk/the-steampunk-opium-wars/

by Elizabeth + Verve & Elan

My Right of Reply by remora

dedicated to the Punjapit Alliance (c/o second circle of hell beltway)

I am a point outside of your circle....

“I am a point outside your circle
Never can I go your way….”

(maybe a little more regular church attendance would do you people a world of good!)

via: http://www.riccimac.org/ccc/eng/ccc63/artsandletters/article2.htm

by remora + aniie

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Great Moments in Poetry #3…. Herman Van Rompuy Haiku

HERMAN’S HAIKUS

On the seasons:

In a nearby ditch

toads mating passionately

inaugurate spring.

Brussels:

Different colours,

tongues, towers and gods.

I search my way.

A moment of reflection:

Birds in concert,

one sings above all others.

I don’t know its name.

Mother:

Are you mute forever?

Are flesh and blood extinct?

I will be your grave.

Herman Van Rompuy publishes haiku poems

by Arthur Furrowfield

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Great Moments in Poetry # 2: Catullus 16 “Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo”

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo is the first line, sometimes used as a title, of Carmen 16 in the collected poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 BC – ca. 54 BC). The poem, written in a hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) meter, was considered so explicit that a full English translation was not openly published until the late twentieth century. The first line has been called “one of the filthiest expressions ever written in Latin — or in any other language, for that matter.”

by Arthur Furrowfield + Dr.Vince

Posted in 1, Arthurs Potting Shed, Beer, Dr.Vince, European, Football, Poetry, sex. Comments Off on Great Moments in Poetry # 2: Catullus 16 “Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo”