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Weak eros - David Greenslade

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Weak eros
David Greenslade
Paperback / softback
Parhtian Books
UK Publication Date

A collection of 48 diverse poems portraying the sensuality and magic, the brightness and sadness of the perpetual journey of love and desire.

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In the poem ?Tulip Medicine?, David Greenslade (writing in archaic English) tells a story in which the narrator?s erection problems are cured by applying a ?poultice / of my expensivest tulippe? to what the poem variously calls ?my seargeant? and ?my stalke?. As this suggests, Weak Eros is significantly concerned with human sexuality, which it explores in poetry that ranges from the apparent quirkiness of ?Tulip Medicine? to the grim kitchen-sink dramas of ?Five Children?.

Unsurprisingly, then, this is a collection that is highly conscious of the body. In ?That Night?, drinks are bought as a kind of votive offering to a potential lover?s knees and breasts, whilst in ?It was Good to See You?, the ?round pearl? of a woman?s abdomen is displayed through a half-unbuttoned dress. More darkly, in the bleak ?Five Children?, bodies are shown being slapped, pinched, beaten, raped, subjected to surgical procedure (specifically, mastectomy), and dying from epilepsy.

The collection also addresses numerous stages and types of human relationships. ?Lovespoon?, for example, depicts the couch-breaking energies of sexual activity, whilst ?Your Closet? contemplates the significance of a lover?s clothes. But Greenslade also deals with brokenness. Thus, ?The Hundred Homes? asks its addressee how dreams can be shared between lovers ?if you won?t / share her pillow?. Likewise, the near-archetypal images of stones, field, star-filled sky, ?black sand?, and ?fallen roses? in ?We Lived Together? outline the contours of a relationship about which the poet says, with the simplicity of pain, ?I have known finding / and losing her, // both were terrible?. Indeed, in its use of evocative, half-shrouded images, this short, delicate poem is one of the best in the collection.

Amongst all this, however, is ?The Sorcerer Receives a Cutte?, one of the longer pieces in Weak Eros. Apparently invoking the European settlement period of American history, this poem uses the same archaic language as ?Tulip Medicine? to depict the events which lead up to its central character being tattooed. That tattooing is fundamental to the poem again emphasises Greenslade?s bodily concerns. However, in its ostensibly historical tale of power, plots, and cross-cultural contacts, this intriguing narrative takes the collection beyond the explorations of sexuality and love which otherwise dominate it.
Matthew Jarvis @

Keyword Index
Love poetry, English.|Erotic poetry, English.
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