Because no blog is complete without a penis poem...
This all started on the Compuserve forum during an animated discussion on how graphic one should be when describing a man's naughty bits. I posted a poem about the aforementioned manly bits, because I think the poor things are woefully under-represented in most novels.
Next thing you know, my friend and writer extraordinaire Diana Gabaldon asked to include Ode To A Penis in her SIWC workshop: Writing About Sex Without Blushing, where she read the poem aloud (without blushing.) Then, much like the organ in question, it suddenly took on a life of its own. Check out Diana's wonderful blog for the workshop notes.
My poem follows below:
How does a writer describe the aroused male member in a romance novel without tarnishing the family jewels?
Despite thousands of words used to describe Wee Willy Winkie (Mark Morton lists 1,300in his book The Lover’s Tongue: A Merry Romp Through The Language Of Love And Sex) none seem to adequately convey the language of love, with its most obvious method of delivery, without giggles. One might argue the biggest organ of love is the brain, but a man’s brain is not the organ which makes its presence most boldly known in the throes of passion.
But how does a writer of romance describe ‘It’ without ruining the moment? There’s no denying ‘It’ is there - its presence is as keenly felt as the relentless prodding of a Labrador’s nose against an outstretched hand.
One might wish to use a soft touch and describe a poet’s Dart of Love. A knight shields his Lance of Love, his Excalibur seeks its sheath. A fighting man thrusts his Hooded Warrier, or if angered, his Bald Avenger. The CEO fires his Executive Staff Member, the chef heats up his Meat ‘n Potatoes, the outdoorsman handles his Rod and Tackle, and the butcher unwraps his 100% All Beef Thermometer.
No, I think for romance to work, allusion is everything. I humbly offer up the following poem:
Ode to a Penis
Advice For Romance Writers
I think that I shall never see,
a penis lovely as a tree.
Though both can be described at length,
it’s best you don’t.
Please show some strength.
For ample members are best left
(even when one’s hands are deft)
untouched by writers’ florid prose,
or in repose.
So drop the little one-eyed snake,
of other things you should partake.
Admittedly, they do enthrall,
but after one,
you’ve seen ‘em all.