Poems about Sexuality

A Woman Waits for Me by Walt Whitman

Formerly known as ‘Poem of Procreation,’ Whitman’s ‘A Woman Waits for Me’ is all about the power of regeneration, procreation, and creativity.

A Woman Waits for Me by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

Two Songs by Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich’s ‘Two Songs’ explores the themes of lust, physicality, and pleasure. These poems feature a speaker’s “post coitum” feelings.

Two Songs by Adrienne Rich Visual Representation

Love is… by Adrian Henri

‘Love is…’ by Adrian Henri provides readers with various ways to consider love and how it tints even the smallest objects and experiences with more meaning.

Love is... by Adrian Henri Visual Representation

Why Flowers Change Color by Robert Herrick

‘Why Flowers Change Color’ by Robert Herrick is a short poem that speaks about virginity, virgins, and the reason that flowers change colors. The poem is often interpreted in different ways due to the few details Herrick provides in the four lines. 

Why Flowers Change Colors by Robert Herrick Visual Representation

may i feel said he by E.E. Cummings

‘may i feel said he’ by E.E. Cummings is a deceptively complicated poem that describes two people engaged in an affair and the various emotions associated with it.

may i feel said he by E.E. Cummings Visual Representation

Down, Wanton, Down! by Robert Graves

‘Down, Wanton, Down!’ is a direct address to “wanton” or the urge to have unrestrained sexual relationships. The speaker rebukes the desire/person by describing the value of “Love” and “Beauty.”

Down, Wanton, Down! by Robert Graves Visual Representation

The Dalliance of the Eagles by Walt Whitman

Whitman’s ‘The Dalliance of the Eagles’ depicts a fierce yet amorous scene of the birds of prey, briefly consummating in the open sky and then parting in their own ways. This poem was not received favorably due to its explicit depiction of sexuality.

The Dalliance of the Eagles by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

Like A Flower In The Rain by Charles Bukowski

Bukowski’s ‘Like A Flower In The Rain’ is a clear-cut poem describing the odd lovemaking of a couple. Bukowski does not shy away from noting their raw conversation in the text.

Like A Flower In The Rain by Charles Bukowski Visual Representation

The Pornographer by Robert Hass

‘The Pornographer’ appears in Robert Hass’s Yale Series of Younger Poets Award-winning collection Field Guide (1973). This poem is all about an artist who finds it difficult to get rid of his thoughts.

The Pornographer by Robert Hass Visual Representation

Calypso by Olga Broumas

Olga Broumas’s ‘Calypso’ contains an allusion to the mythical character of Calypso mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. It is about a speaker dreaming of having intimacy with her imaginary companions.

Calypso by Olga Broumas Visual Representation

Sonnet 128 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 128,’ also known as ‘How oft when thou, my music, music play’st,’ is a sensuous poem. In it, the speaker describes the way his mistress plays the harpsichord and how he longs to touch her.

Sonnet 128 by William Shakespeare visual representation

Sonnet 151 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 151,’ also known as ‘Love is too young to know what conscience is,’ is a lustful poem. It explores the speaker’s uncontrollable longing for the Dark Lady. 

Sonnet 151 by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

Sonnet 140 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 140,’ also known as ‘Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press,’ contains the speaker’s threats towards the Dark Lady. He says he will expose her affairs and flirtatious behavior if she doesn’t change her ways.

Sonnet 137 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 137,’ also known as ‘Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,’ is about the speaker’s love for the Dark Lady. It condemns love for misleading the speaker about her.

Sonnet 137 by William Shakespeare

Salome by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Salome’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dramatic monologue that is delivered by Salome. It occurs the morning after the death of John the Baptist.

Sonnet 136 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 136,’ also known as ‘If thy soul check thee that I come so near,’ is one of the “Will” sonnets. It describes the speaker’s lust for the Dark Lady.

Sonnet 135 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 135,’ also known as ‘Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,’ is an unusual sonnet within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. It expresses the speaker’s desire to sleep with the Dark Lady and counted among her many lovers.

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

‘Goblin Market’ is one of Christina Rossetti’s most famous and well-studied poems. The symbolism in the poem has led to a number of interpretations. One could argue that it is a metaphor for drug addiction or female purity.

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti Visual Representation

The Flea by John Donne

‘The Flea’ by John Donne is the poet’s most famous poem. In it, he uses one of his brilliant conceits to convince his love to sleep with him.

The Garden of Love by William Blake

‘The Garden of Love’ is the antithesis to The Echoing Green of Innocence, as it uses the same setting and rhythm to stress the ugly contrast.

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