Books Poetry

On Julia’s Clothes and 99 other most popular poems

This must be one of the shortest, heavily anthologized poems in the English language. On Julia’s Clothes, by Robert Herrick, runs to only six lines. But, witty and playful, this 17th century poem is one of the 100 most anthologized poems in the English language, according to the Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry. Here are links to the top 100. But first…

On Julia’s Clothes
By Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
O how that glittering taketh me!

Roguish but charming, isn’t it?


Essential Pleasures: Homage to Hips

I have been reading Essential Pleasures: A New Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud, edited by Robert Pinksy. Readers will find plenty of old masterpieces here, such as Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold and Ulysses by Tennyson; but, as Pinsky says in his introduction: "I have also worked hard to come up with good poems that will be new to most readers."

I really liked Margaret Atwood's Variation on the Word Sleep, which I had never read before. Another poem which made a terrific impression on me was Allen Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California.

Originally uploaded by hyperscholar

Now here's a naughty poem that's mercifully brief and unabashedly physical.