Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Against Naturism; If I Had Known

Roddy Lumsden's "Against Naturism" (from his collection The Book of Love) presents the case against nudism—more precisely, the case for clothes:

For me, I have to see the clothes come off:
the way a button’s thumbed through cotton cloth —
a winning move in some exotic game

with no set rules but countless permutations —
or how a summer dress falls to the floor
with momentary mass and with a plash
that stirs us briefly as we ply our passion;

For me, that summer dress's whispering fall quietly echoes Greg Brown's "If I Had Known" (from his CD "Down in There"; covered by Human Shields last Friday):

She was older than me I guess;
summer was invented for her to wear that dress.

I'd never pictured the taking off of that dress quite so explicitly until I read about it in Lumsden's poem. (Another lovely feature of the poem is the striking word "amidkiss"—as in undoing a clasp "amidkiss.")


Marilyn Clayton said...

I find it a little disconcerting when there are comments inserted into the poem, making it momentarily confusing....what's the poem, and what's the footnote?

Andrew Shields said...

The poem is italicized (that's my standard way to do it, at least).

Donald Brown said...

I nice topic in these days of, in the words of the Cracker song, "the violent blooms of summer dresses."

When young, I didn't think much about the eroticism of clothing, but that changed a bit in middle age and I remember being struck by how on target these lines from the Pixies are:

"Run outside in the desert heat
Make your dress all wet and send it to me"

Mark Granier said...

Here's my case against "naturism": it usually amounts to dressing for indifference, as if this were, somehow, a VIRTUE.