POETRY IS LIKE TAKING A DEEP BREATH

Sunday, 27 May 2012

THE HUG




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
1929-2004

4 comments:

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

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  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 :-)

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  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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