Smut Poetry: The Risqué Literature We All Secretly Crave

In this week’s edition of Crazy Book Genres, we’re discussing lustful imagery and steamy verses: all the ingredients needed to create smut poetry!

Just For Fun Poetry & Drama Pop Culture Recommendations
Fireplace background with book covers.

Ahh, the month of love. What better time to read a genre that will have you breathless and fanning yourself? If this sounds like your dream, then smut poetry might be up your alley. Keep reading to find out where it came from and where to find it!

It’s exactly what you think it is!

I’m sure the image in your mind is correct. Smut poetry is a subgenre that focuses on the risque and often graphic depictions of desire, sex, and sexual tension. Modern poetry tends to be written in free verse, but it can appear in all formats! The term “smut” seems to be relatively new in the book community, but I assure you that poets have written about it longer than you think.

Smut poetry isn’t old…It’s ancient!

It’s hard to imagine people in ancient civilizations actually fantasized about…sex. Gasp! Well, they certainly did. Some of the earliest and most famous erotic poets were Sappho and Catullus. The Greek and Roman poets used lyrical poems to sing sweet melodies of romance, lust, wild attraction, and homoeroticism. Remains of their larger works are preserved as fragments, so we can still enjoy ancient smut!

The Complete Poems of Catullus, a group of women, men, and children stand together in a wooded area.
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Sappho’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho often speaks of the Greek God and Goddess of Love — Eros and Aphrodite. Erotic mentions of the Greek Gods, no doubt made for lightning bolt spice. Sweetly, Catullus admired Sappho’s poetry, and translators speculate that works in The Poems of Catullus reference the late poet. They started it all and continue to influence writers and artists today!

Smut Poetry Recommendations

Erotic Poems by E.E. Cummings

Erotic Poems cover by E.E. Cummings
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One of the most prolific poets also sat down one day to write Erotic Poems. E.E. Cumming’s collection of unique unstructured stanzas and explicit sketches invites you to witness the human experience of romantic intimacy. 

when, her mouth suddenly rising, wholly

begins with mine fiercely to fool

(and from my thighs which shrug and pant

a murdering rain leapingly reaches the upward singular deepest flower which she

carries in a gesture of her hips)

Sometimes I Am Alive But With, E.E. Cummings

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet, a women's obscured face.
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If you want poetry that cuffs together relationships, heartbreak, love, and as the title suggests, dirty scenes, then Dirty Pretty Things might be an option for you. Michael Faudet’s collection of quotes, short stories, and prose all fit together to give picturesque depictions of erotica.

I never understood desire until i felt your hands around my throat.

Dirty Pretty Things, Michael Faudet

Arching Over by Kathleen K.

Arching Over cover by Kathleen K., a naked woman doing a back bend.
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A short and smutty read is what Kathleen K. delivers in her poetry book Arching Over. The title and book cover set the tone for these deliciously graphic poems that explore fantasy and deep, yearning desire. These lines bring to life the art of erotic love and seduction with every turn of the page.

i’m not the exclusive type

but i constantly want you

your name sounds like yes to me

yes, yes — i want you

Arching Over, Kathleen K.

Naked Soul by Salil Jhn

Naked Soul cover by Salil Jhn, a droplet of water on a pink flower petal.
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Now, if you’re in the market for a predominantly romantic erotic read, then Salil Jhn’s Naked Soul is a great choice. The dedication alone sets a sweet tone for the verses to follow. This is a much softer and more emotional approach to smut. These poems feel like a silk blanket caressed over fantasy, lust, and erotic imagery.

They borrow ladders to put up

against the wall,

to peep into another world

to have a glance of such nakedness

such passion.

The ladder breaks down,

the wall crumbles

under the heavy moans of lovers.

A Garden of Love, Salil Jhn

Smut poetry isn’t a genre many readers reach for, but this month, maybe you can take a detour past the romance section to the spicy poetry section. It just might be exactly what you need!


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