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Sexy Lyrics from the Bible

A new translation of The Song of Songs

This poem corresponds to Song of Songs 5:2-6:3 Marcia Falk, the Anis Nin of biblical erotica, has composed lyric lines that are spectacularly different from standard Bible translations. Lean, raw, intoxicating, they are also suffused with Falk’s literary perfect pitch. Even her 115 pages of scholarly notes convey the crazed forgetfulness of loving. Falk’s Song of Songs should be a required possession of lovers. (Note: Passages spoken by a female voice are in roman typeface, the passage spoken by a male foice is in italic, and passages spoken by a group of women are in capitals.)

I sleep, but my heart stirs,
restless,

and dreams…

My lover’s voice here, at the door-

Open, my love, my sister,
my dove, my perfect one,
for my hair is soaked with the night.

Should I get up, get dressed,
and dirty my feet?

My love thrusts his hand at the latch
and my heart leaps for him!

I rise to open for my love,
my hands dripping perfume on the lock-

I open,
but he has gone.

I run out after calling him, calling,
but he is gone.

The men who roam the streets,
guarding the walls,
beat me and tear away my robe.

O women of the city,
Swear to me!
If you find my lover
You will say
That I am sick with love.

WHO IS YOUR LOVE
AND WHY DO YOU BIND US BY OATH?

My love is radiant
As gold or crimson,
Hair in waves of black
Like wings of ravens.

Eyes like doves, afloat
Upon the water,
Bathed in milk, at rest
On brimming pools.

Cheeks like beds of spices,
Banks of flowers,

Lips like lilies, sweet
And wet with dew.

Studded with jewels, his arms
Are round and golden,
His belly smooth as ivory,
Bright with gems.

Set in gold, his legs,
Two marble columns-
He stands as proud as cedars
In the mountains.

Man of pleasure- sweet
To taste his love!
Friend and lover chosen
For my love.

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN,
WHERE HAS YOUR LOVER GONE TO?
WHERE HAS HE GONE?
WE’LL HELP YOU LOOK FOR HIM.

My love has gone to walk
Within his garden-
To feed his sheep and there
To gather flowers.

I turn to meet my love,
He’ll turn to me,
Who leads his flock to feed
Among the flowers.

Excerpted from The Song of Songs: A New Translation and Interpretation by Marcia Falk.