Author Archives: Terese Svoboda

Sex Permeates Everything: The Poetry of Lola Ridge

Long before the dawn of sexting and frank depictions of women’s sexuality in TV shows like Broad City, the candlelit tea-rooms of 1920s Greenwich Village boomed with women’s sex talk. They didn’t call those years “roaring” for nothing. World War I had just ended, as had the terrible flu epidemic. Both were short, and their casualties enormous. What else for the survivors to do but fuck, or at least talk about it? According to Foucault, poetry at the start of the 17th century was the only sex talk there was until two centuries later, when sex scientists like Havelock Ellis began a murmur that turned into the roar of the sex-positive 1920s. When women writers re-discovered sex in the 1920s, poetry was what the wild girls wrote. Bookstores couldn’t keep women’s work in stock, with poems like Mina Loy’s “Love Songs to Joannes” (“Pig Cupid/His rosy snout/Rooting erotic garbage.”) flying off the shelves.

lola-ridge-cover Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under All The Feminist Poets, Books + Literature