The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8671   Message #55382
Posted By: Helen
23-Jan-99 - 04:53 PM
Thread Name: A challenge:a flea,an orange,a bicycle seat
Subject: RE: A challenge:a flea,an orange,a bicycle seat
Here's a bit of Kulcha (Oz term for "culture") for youse all.

In case you need to know what the hell he was prattling on about - the poet is saying that even though his lady friend is denying him the right to have sex with her, the flea has managed what the poet couldn't, by biting her & sucking her blood and then biting him, so that a third entity has both his & her blood in its body (the flea is used as a metaphor for a child they may have produced by having sex).

Cute, ha? Well, actually very, very contrived, but I like it. You have to put it in the context of courtly love - they were into platonic adulterous relationships where they liked to wind each other up into a sexual frenzy but then not do anything physical to resolve it.

Kind of like cyber-sex when you come to think about it - or is that "think about coming ..." ? Never mind. We don't want to get back into that condom discussion, do we? > or more likely



JOHN DONNE John Donne (1571-1631)

Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deny'st me is; It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be; Thou knowest that this cannot be said A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead. Yet this enjoys before it woo, And pampered, swells with one blood made of two, And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare, Where we almost, yea, more than married are. This flea is you and I, and this Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is; Though parents grudge, and you, we are met And cloistered in these living walls of jet. Though use make you apt to kill me, Let not to that self murder added be, And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence? Wherein could this flea guilty be Except in that drop which it sucked from thee? Yet thou triumph'st, and sayest that thou Find'st not thyself, nor me, the weaker now. 'Tis true, then learn how false fears be; Just so much honor, when thou yieldst to me, Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.