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Danielle Donaldson blogs here. What I'm reading now. What I'm writing now. My various thoughts about romance novels, publishing and writing at large and the sexy stuff that comes to mind! 

Love Poems: The Flea by John Donne

Danielle Donaldson

I never really enjoyed poetry when I was younger. I think I thought it was overwrought and flowery. It never said what it meant and I felt like it wasn't straight forward enough. To be honest, I think I wasn't reading the right kind of poetry. 

From time to time, I still delve in reading some love poetry to help me stay fresh in my writing, to give me more ideas about the turn of phrase or perspective. For today's blog, I wanted to explore one of my favorite love poems, "The Flea" by John Donne. 

The Flea 

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,   

How little that which thou deniest me is;   

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,

And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;   

Thou know’st that this cannot be said

A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,

    Yet this enjoys before it woo,

    And pampered swells with one blood made of two,

    And this, alas, is more than we would do.

 

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.   

This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;   

Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,   

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

    Though use make you apt to kill me,

    Let not to that, self-murder added be,

    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Guys, the whole poem is about the Speaker of the poem trying to convince a girl, supposedly a virgin, to have sex with him. The Speaker is trying to convince her that having sex with him wouldn't necessarily be a sin because the flea sucks blood from him and then from her. Their blood is already mixed inside the body of the flea. He asserts that this makes them married, nay more than married., so having sex wouldn't be that much of a sin. Also, the last three lines are basically saying, "You're killing me here, girl." 

Something about a love poem that isn't about the wonderful color of a lover's eyes or the warmth of their touch. It's just a guy trying to get laid. It's the perfect kind of love poem. So, if a guy ever busts out this poem to you, you know what he's trying to get after. ;)