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Erotica Romana

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Book Overview: 

Also known as the "Roman Elegies," Erotica Romana is von Goethe's literary tribute to human sexuality and eroticism. Written in 24 elegies to emulate classical Roman elegy writers such as Tibullus, Propertius, and Catullus, von Goethe creates a lyrical work of art that has often been subject to censorship.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .When gods and goddesses in days of heroes made love, then Lust followed look and desire, with no delay, was indulged. Surely you don't think the goddess of love lost a moment reflecting When, in Idean grove, Anchises caught her eye. Nor did Luna delay about kissing that beautiful dreamer— Jealous Aurora had else hastily wakened the lad. At the loud banquet Hero regarded Leander—then promptly Into dark waters he plunged, ardently swam toward his love. When Rhea Silvia, princess and virgin, came down to the Tiber Just to fetch water, a god seized her and that is the way Mars begat himself sons, a pair of twins whom a she wolf Suckled. Today a proud Rome claims to be queen of the world.



VI We are so pious, we lovers. Discreetly we worship all powers, Hoping for favor from each god and each goddess as well. We are like you, ye victorious Romans, in this: for w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Goethe was a name I'd encountered in passing, primarily as a philosopher, but I'd never read. after reading this one poem it's something I intend to rectify.
I am one of the most unromantic, unsentimental people around. hearts and flowers aren't for me. This poem doesn't have them. It has love, pa...more

Heard about this poem from a friend. I'm not used to reading a book that's written the way this was. The wording/writing style alone will put some ppl off. I didn't ''get'' most of it, but I did understand some and got the gist of it. I'm rating it like I did because it was well written, that is...more

'Let my thoughts rest on your form!
Please close your eyes. They're inebriation, confusion, they rob me
All too soon of the joy quiet reflection affords.'

It's so beautiful you want to keep going back to it, reading some certain stanzas over and over again. Like visual beauty, you don't get tired o...more

It is a good thing I had recently refreshed my knowledge of greco-roman mythology, otherwise the majority of the poems would have remained pretty opaque. The Roman Elegies mark a turning point in Goethe's bibliography, and biography as he was rediscovering the love for his art, living and, most i...more

Common folks lighten up!
A classy dirty book, a poem (Actually 24 poems) at AND by a German. If only all of Goethe’s writing was this easy. I am tempted at this point to append: Life is Good. Let there be no mincing about the title, Erotica Romana is not and never was Roman Elegies. It is Roman Er...more

I can tell not only about a discomfort far greater than others,
But of a horror besides, thinking of which will arouse
Every fiber in me to revulsion. My friends, I confess it:
Great displeasure I take lying alone in my bed.
But it's a horror to fear on the pathways of love you'll discover
Snakes and...more

Good poems and massive poetic devices.
I like as it flows from persons to god.
From Germany to Rome.
Good lines-
*"World would not be the world,
Rome would cease to be Rome."
*"'In the end you poor girls are the ones who are sure to be cheated.' So said my father although"*Boy, won't you light me a lam...more

Cito el prefacio de Jesús Munárriz, traductor y editor de este volumen: "Cuando Goethe entregó a Schiller estas "Elegías romanas" para su publicación en la revista 'Die Horen', éste, probablemente escandalizado por algunos de los poemas, se los dio a leer también a Herder, quien cometnó que si lo...more

The Roman Elegies first produced as the Erotica Romana, is a collection of twentyfour poems of an erotic sexual nature depicting the Italian and classical cultures of the time. There are also erotic poems to the author's lover whom he picked up in his travles. I would recommend this to all. The l...more

The epilogue was shocking. I didn't expect something like that from him:

...
Nor do the girls take offense when they see me--by no means the matrons.
None finds me ugly today, though I am monstrously strong.
Half a foot long, as reward, your glorious rod (dear poet)
Proudly shall strut from your loins...more

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