Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Top 10 love poems

John Stammers is a poet and creative writing teacher.

With Valentine's Day looming, he came up with a list of the top ten love poems for the Guardian.

One title on the list:
"The Flea" by John Donne

If there are a number of great conceits in the Marvell, then there is a single one in this, at first sight tasteless masterpiece. Almost, one feels, as an exercise in virtuosity, Donne turns a human flea into a persuasive romantic symbol. Said flea has just bitten both himself and the object of his attentions and so becomes an improbable erotic crucible: Donne argues disingenuously that, as the two of them are now conjoined in the flea, they might just as well get on with the grosser physical details.
Read about the other poems on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue