Sunday, 27 May 2012


It was your birthday, we had drunk and dined
Half of the night with our old friend
Who'd showed us in the end
To a bed I reached in one drunk stride.
Already I lay snug,
And drowsy with the wine dozed on one side.

I dozed, I slept. My sleep broke on a hug,
Suddenly, from behind,
In which the full lengths of our bodies pressed;
Your instep to my heel,
My shoulder-blades against your chest.
It was not sex, but I could feel
The whole strength of your body set,
Or braced, to mine,
And locking me to you
As if we were still twenty-two
When our grand passion had not yet
Become familial.
My quick sleep had deleted all
Of intervening time and place.
I only knew
The stay of your secure firm dry embrace.

Thom Gunn


  1. And now a third, a Gunnian take, on the theme of hug. You may start a trend with this, who knows?

  2. Mostly hugs do not ensure any possibility of joy or peace for me...but I do know I am in the minority with that. ~Mary

    ps I do well with snug, if it is with a cat or dog though :-)

  3. I think this is very good — that state of the firm, hard strength of two bodies pressed against each other, without the actual sexual act ... lovely the way he re-experiences a kind of youthful innocence in dozy somnolence.


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