Home > Poetry > Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Published: Fri Oct 15 1976
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
Lady Chatterley’s Lover

John said “Lookit this” and took from a bag
only a book with a pale blue battered cover
and I said, “So what? Is this some kind of a gag?
Then he showed me the title: Lady Chatterley’s Lover,
and opened it up and pointed his finger at words
which I’d never seen in print except on walls
and some not even there—with a leer and a smirk
John said, “Wow, this book’s really got balls!”
He let me read it, and parts I read more than once,
sometimes pressing it down to repress the result—
those two in the nude doing what I’d never done,
always feeling a penis some kind of fault—
and after I’d slipped the secret back to John
it was harder than ever not to be adult.

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Harold Witt has published three collections of poetry: Winesburg by the Sea (Thorp Springs Press, 1979), The Snow Prince Poems and Collages (Blue Unicorn Press, 1982), and American Lit (Ashland Poetry Press, 1994). He is widely regarded as a master of contemporary formalist poetry. (updated 7/2010)

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