A Love Letter

By Russell Edson 1935–2014 Russell Edson
Dear Miss,
First of all I want to say that I have enjoyed the imaginary possibility, built of course on the fact that such possibility does exist in nature: I have seen the birds and other forms of nonhumanity occur in such postures that must be with men and women....I have imagined myself in such postures with you, where flight was discouraged only by the inherent possibility of the firm horizontal...
         As men give vast lands to little papers with line and color, I have imagined more on the surface of your body, giving all the universe in this model....
         Yet, I must be curious about your breasts...curious...hungry is the word, to see, to touch, to taste....I am curious as to how your hands undress your body.
         I am interested in your mind: will you undress in front of me? Will you permit me the unparalleled pleasure of taking your clothes off?
         I feel that if I should have my penis in your vagina I should have your love; for you do not receive the wretched hardness of my desire into the sweet body of yourself without that you have not come to love me for reasons, if love has reasons, I cannot tell....

         Your admirer

Russell Edson, “A Love Letter,” in The Clam Theater © 1973 by Russell Edson and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press. www.wesleyan.edu/wespress

Source: The Clam Theater (Wesleyan University Press, 1973)

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Poet Russell Edson 1935–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, The Body, Desire

Poetic Terms Epistle, Prose Poem

 Russell  Edson


Called the “godfather of the prose poem in America,” Russell Edson’s idiosyncratic body of work is populated with strange and intriguing figures: a woman fights a tree, a mother serves ape; in the poem “Let Us Consider,” there’s a “farmer who makes his straw hat his sweetheart” and an “old woman who makes a floor lamp her son.” The poems are surreal and fablelike, sometimes resembling brief plays. Donald Hall said of Edson’s . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, The Body, Desire

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Epistle, Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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