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The Platonic Blow
March 18, 2008 12:20 AM   Subscribe

"A day to blow or get blown." The W. H. Auden poem that was too dirty for the New York Times Book Review. (Not safe for work or good taste)
posted by nasreddin (67 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is just to say
I have eaten the plums
that were
in the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Also I fucked
your wife
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 12:38 AM on March 18, 2008 [60 favorites]


Seems very tame compared to most of MetaFilter.
posted by amyms at 12:39 AM on March 18, 2008


Wow. Like a letter to Penthouse, but with rhyme. I clicked through to the New York Times review of the erotic poem anthology, which doesn't reveal the poem but ends with this sly hint:
Anthologies like this one are best viewed as contests (best metaphorical labia! best profane blazon!), and dear old Auden wins this one by a knockout blow.
posted by stefanie at 12:44 AM on March 18, 2008


Riffing off L. Fitzerald Sjoberg...

This is just to say
I have fucked the plums
that were
in the icebox

And which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast.

Forgive me
the were so camel-like
so sweet
and so fetid.
posted by amyms at 12:44 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is just to say
I wish to suck the "plums"
that are
in your cricket box

They are so sweet,
so nice.
posted by seanyboy at 1:02 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is too easy

This is just to say
I have fucked your bum
as you bent
over the icebox.

Forgive me, It was delicious
So sweet,
so warm.
posted by seanyboy at 1:06 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


That poem has turned me gay.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:07 AM on March 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


Appropriate imagery
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:09 AM on March 18, 2008


This is just to say
I have thrown out the plums
that were
in the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

They had gone
quite bad
and were a color
not normally
associated with plums

That also applied to
your wife
posted by wendell at 1:29 AM on March 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thanks nasreddin, what a gust of fresh hair.
posted by nicolin at 1:39 AM on March 18, 2008


There once was a man named Enis...
posted by PM at 1:57 AM on March 18, 2008


Just say

I were to spring
on you, Delicious,
pop your plum
in my mouth

at the icebox,
the window,
the chickens,
before breakfast,

Brilliance, breaking
our compact
to wait until after
I mended the fence.

What would the neighbors
make of us?

Good.
posted by pracowity at 2:03 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I do know what to do with his tossed salad and herculean eggs,
They're calling again..
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:10 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now I know where 'tower of power' comes from.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:43 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also I fucked
your wife

Pretty sure that wasn't a wife Mr. Auden was fucking.

"A day to blow or get blown" (up) Anyone else besides me misread the FPP and think they were going to a 9-11 poem?
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:10 AM on March 18, 2008


cocks lol
posted by chrismear at 3:19 AM on March 18, 2008


This is what happens when a genius uses his powers for Evil.
posted by wtdoor at 3:42 AM on March 18, 2008


Didn't one of those US fundie TV preachers threaten to go on a hunger strike unless his audience kept sending more money in, in order that he could build his 'Tower of Power' ?

Ah yes. It was the eponysterical Oral Roberts.

Personally, I prefer the sermons of his younger brother, Anal. But to each, his own eternity in hellfire and damnation.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:12 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I read this link, then went to another tab to continue on my research on Canadian foreign policy from 1941 to 1963 (surprisingly not fun), and this quote came up:

"Canada has [...] now that the CN Tower is in place, the biggest erection." Even better is that 'the biggest erection' are the first three words of the second page.

Just because we're discussing phallic metaphors already.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:42 AM on March 18, 2008


I find that if I just pretend Anne Sexton wrote this I feel a fire in my belly, or something.
posted by dawson at 5:09 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


About buggering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along...
posted by dyoneo at 5:25 AM on March 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


oh dang this is all like if craigslist was classy an shit
posted by Greg Nog at 5:30 AM on March 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm hardly averse
to filthy verse
But this just leaves
me with the heaves
posted by Wolfdog at 5:43 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great poem - and so dirty, so sodden!
Vintage Meyer? Or a letter?
No, much better (and wetter): its Auden.
posted by googly at 5:45 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


...How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous plo chops, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood...
posted by steef at 6:01 AM on March 18, 2008


But for him it was his first afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of boys and whispers;
The provinces of his body explored,
The squares of his mind were filled,
Cries invaded the urban scene.
The current of his feeling floated: he became an admirer.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:25 AM on March 18, 2008


Now. Someone rewrite it in limerick.
posted by nax at 6:29 AM on March 18, 2008


This is obscure Auden (and I know it from a musical setting, so I may be inventing line breaks)...

To lie flat on the back, with the knees flexed
And sunshine on the soft receptive belly
Or face down, the insolent spine relaxed
...
Is good.

Pink old liberal to the last, indeed.
posted by sixswitch at 6:35 AM on March 18, 2008


Also, all you dirty bastards: Stop All The Cocks

Very definitely not cockist.
posted by sixswitch at 6:40 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brilliant.
posted by digaman at 7:00 AM on March 18, 2008


Wait a second. Auden was gay?
posted by Pastabagel at 7:11 AM on March 18, 2008


What is this "good taste" stuff? It sounds like Wystan had a delicious afternoon in every sense.
posted by digaman at 7:12 AM on March 18, 2008


Wait a second. Auden was gay?

No, the blow was completely platonic.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:17 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow, The exploring of mechanics
The day to blow or be blown

But today the struggle.
posted by jlowen at 7:17 AM on March 18, 2008


These mechanics? I can have one?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2008


did anyone else think that this poem didn't read like auden typical does?
posted by shmegegge at 7:50 AM on March 18, 2008


A stiff prick has no scansion, shmegegge.

OK, OK, the scansion is fine.

Auden always straddled the line between blunt and lyrical for me, and this poem doesn't seem out of place with his body of work. It's just not very good, that's all.
posted by rosebuddy at 7:55 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Shall I rim you?" I whispered. He shifted his limbs in assent.

Well I suppose it's better than saying: "Well it ain't gonna rim itself..."
posted by ob at 7:57 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure that wasn't a wife Mr. Auden was fucking.

Yeah, but I had moved on to William Carlos Williams. I can't say for sure Williams didn't swing that way, but I went with what I had.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:00 AM on March 18, 2008


If you post a comment about how gross this poem is to you, that totally proves that you're completely, utterly straight. Yep. Unimpeachably.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:05 AM on March 18, 2008


I find that if I just pretend Anne Sexton wrote this I feel a fire in my belly, or something.


Unfortunately, when I remember it was wrinkly old Auden, the feeling in my belly is altogether different.
posted by Phanx at 8:16 AM on March 18, 2008


I love this poem. It's so fun, and personal, and casual. It perfectly captures what a good casual trick feels like, breezy and fun and overwhelmingly saturating. Makes me want to go get laid.

I don't understand the crack about "good taste" in the original post unless you think all art about sex is in poor taste. It's a particularly meaningful poem to me because it was written at a time that poetry like this was forbidden, then secretly passed along. "Auden, he's a famous poet, and look at this fun little thing he wrote!" This poem belongs to me.

As for fun forgotten gay poems...

Golden-haired boy on the edge of a street
In his tight blue jeans on his lonely beat
Hush! Hush! I'm rather afraid
Christopher Robin is looking for trade.
posted by Nelson at 8:43 AM on March 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


fap fap fap fap fap
posted by papakwanz at 9:16 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You guys are so perverted. You could read sex into anything. It's just a poem about hanging out.

I admired the texture, the delicate wrinkles and the neat
Sutures of the capacious bag. I adored the grace
Of the male genitalia. I raised the delicious meat
Up to my mouth, brought the face of its hard-on to my face.

Um, it's all metaphor.
posted by lostburner at 9:23 AM on March 18, 2008


This post is a real spoiler in the "mefi riffage on William Carlos Williams over the ages" report I was thinking of putting together.
posted by cortex at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2008


Hee hee. Yes, I will be forwarding this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:28 AM on March 18, 2008


Hell, I'm gay and I think this poem is kind of gross, but then I think all erotica is kind of ridiculous. Talk about dancing about the architecture, amirite?
posted by zeusianfog at 9:39 AM on March 18, 2008


Your subject matter is borderline, Sir, but at the Times Book Review we draw the line at anapests.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:39 AM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I rocked at the shock of his cock"

Nice, it rhymes.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:41 AM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


so much depends
upon

the red tower
of power

glazed with hot
spunk

beside the capacious
bag.
posted by digaman at 10:46 AM on March 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:03 PM on March 18, 2008


GULAGULAGGULAGULAG
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:37 PM on March 18, 2008


I rocked at the shock of his cock.

Auden: Creator of Heavy Metal. R. Halford owes much.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:39 PM on March 18, 2008


Christopher Robin is looking for trade

They're changing guards at Buckingham Palace,
Christopher Robin goes down on Alice,
Alice is marrying one of the guard,
"A soldier's dick is terribly hard",
Says Alice.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:44 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't even want to know what it means when there's only one set of footprints.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 1:46 PM on March 18, 2008


How many times do I have to say? That was when Barack Obama carried you.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:53 PM on March 18, 2008


Coming soon to MetaFilter:

The Poet In Shanghai: Auden Visits The Pacific Rim.
posted by rdone at 3:05 PM on March 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


My grandmother took me to see W.H. Auden read in the Sixties. I'm pretty sure he didn't read this one.
posted by kozad at 3:32 PM on March 18, 2008


It's about God's love for his chosen people.
posted by Haruspex at 3:34 PM on March 18, 2008


Now. Someone rewrite it in limerick.

Well, admittedly it's not quite the same thing, but Auden himself already wrote a limerick revolving around a ... er ... similar subject:

As the poets have mournfully sung,
Death takes the innocent young,
The rolling in money,
The screamingly funny,
And those who are very well hung.
posted by Hypocrite_Lecteur at 4:04 PM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


As pr0n, +1
As poem, -1
posted by everichon at 4:09 PM on March 18, 2008


This is just to say
Shut your piehole and roll over
I'm not paying to listen to your crap
Or to look at your ugly mug
Now where did I put the Hitler suit?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:25 PM on March 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of course it "reads like Auden"-- it goes on for waaaay too long.
(And I adore the man. Usually.)
posted by Dizzy at 5:32 PM on March 18, 2008


Does the WH stand for Well Hung?
posted by lalochezia at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2008


Can you favorite something more than once?

Also, McDermott and Nelson, where are those from?
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:19 PM on March 18, 2008


WidgetAlley, those other poems are from Google. The Christopher Robin poem is attributed to Sir John Waller. If you look a bit further, you can find a funny reminiscence about him.
posted by Nelson at 11:57 AM on March 19, 2008


Ahh! I forgot this until just now, but have you guys seen Kenneth Koch's amazing riff on that poem?

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams
Kenneth Koch

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!
posted by prefpara at 11:15 AM on March 26, 2008


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