You Drive Me Crazy: Love Poems for Real Life

Overview

From the editors of the successful anthologies "The Hell With Love" and "Kiss Off" comes a third collection of poetry celebrating commitment, passion, and everlasting love. Two-color text.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$10.36
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$12.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (49) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $1.99   
  • Used (41) from $1.99   
You Drive Me Crazy: Love Poems for Real Life

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

From the editors of the successful anthologies "The Hell With Love" and "Kiss Off" comes a third collection of poetry celebrating commitment, passion, and everlasting love. Two-color text.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446692724
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 786,716
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Read an Excerpt

You Drive Me Crazy


By Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez

Warner Books

Copyright © 2005 Mary Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-69272-7


Chapter One

ECSTASY WHEN LOVE ROCKS

Ah, the ecstasy of love. Who wants to settle for anything less? From the first second of our first major crush, ecstasy is what we hope for and dream of, that on-top-of-the-world, giddy, whirly, zing-zangy kaboom of a feeling that squeezes your heart and blows your mind and leaves you wanting to shout to the world, I AM SO IN LOVE SO IN LOVE SO CRAZY COMPLETELY IN LOVE!

Or something like that. Truth is, real ecstasy leaves us so overwhelmingly happy we're usually rendered speechless. We want to express our wild, hungry joy, especially to the person we love, but "I love you" seems so serious and standard, and beyond that, what's left? "You rock"? "Oh, baby"? "Gee, I think we're really compatible"? Ecstasy feels so HUGE, and words can seem so small.

That's why we filled this chapter with the most gorgeous, passion-packed love poems we could find, to help you articulate the ecstasy you feel. Recite one of these next anniversary, or slip a copy into a Valentine's Day card, and you'll melt the heart of your beloved.

Or read these poems by yourself when you just want to feel all warm and sappy about the great love of your life. These are poems to indulge in, like hotfudgesundaes or bubble baths or full-body massages. Because-don't kid yourself-ecstasy comes and goes in a long-term love relationship (good luck feeling blissful about the holey underwear! the ESPN addiction! the secret porn stash!). You've got to relish the passion while you've got it. And even if you have one of those moments, days, or months when you fear the romance has drained from your relationship, stop and read an Ecstasy poem. Let yourself remember how it felt-how it could still feel-to be intimately, achingly in love with your partner.

The first four poems in Ecstasy describe that breathless, unspoken (because we don't quite know how to say it, and sometimes we're scared to) longing to be part of the very fiber and soul of your lover. The speaker in James Laughlin's "I Want to Breathe" utters one long, run-on whisper of desire, so quiet but so potent you can almost feel him nuzzling the skin and inhaling the fragrance of his lover, willing their hearts to beat in unison. He wants to be completely connected, physically and emotionally, as does the speaker in Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII, who tells his lover he wants to be "so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,/so close that your eyes close with my dreams." The couple in Sharon Olds's "Sunday Night in the City" shares that same interlaced serenity; "Arms linked like skaters," they lie in bed together, hair ruffled, "long legs crossed like folded/wings."

This is ecstasy at its most seriously romantic- when the two of you exist in your own little world, when you're overcome by that heart-tugging need for intimacy. The lovers in these poems are bound together not so much by sex (even though they're physically tangled together) as by their deep, consuming care for each other. The speaker in Margaret Atwood's "Variation on the Word Sleep," for example, wants to protect and nurture her lover even as he sleeps, even in his dreams. She speaks almost reverentially of wanting to hold him-his being, not his body-"carefully, a flame/in two cupped hands." When we're deep into the ecstasy of love, no closeness is close enough; we can't bear to think that our partner could survive without us. Like the speaker in the Atwood poem, we want to be the very air that our lover breathes-we want to be "that unnoticed/& that necessary."

On the one hand, the desire for that kind of closeness is perfectly understandable and probably inevitable when you're in ecstasy. You're in a love stupor, utterly intoxicated by the sight, scent, and touch of your partner. On the other hand ... yikes! Ecstasy can leave you teetering on the edge of neediness and insecurity. Too much of that heavy-duty "we're the only two people in the world" business can suffocate even the most glorious romance. (Think Heathcliff and Cathy.) Who needs all the melancholy drama when you're supposed to be wildly happy? As much as you want to be one with your lover in ecstasy, eventually you need to develop a little healthy awareness that you two are indeed separate-wild about each other, sure, but separate-individuals who live in a great, big, wide world.

Perhaps that's why we so love the E. E. Cummings poem "i carry your heart with me"-it's fabulously romantic but shout-out-loud exuberant and playful at the same time. The speaker in this poem doesn't quietly yearn to be closer-he trumpets his joy at being close enough. He confidently declares, "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in/my heart)"-separate hearts, carried together. He opens up his world to include not just his lover but also the sun and the stars and "the sky of the sky of a tree called life."

This is ecstasy at its best, we think, when you can loosen up enough simply to enjoy the pleasure of the moment (rather than worrying about the future or longing for more of what you've got). Li-Young Lee's "From Blossoms," for example, is all about the bliss of the here and now. As he and his partner devour "succulent peaches" bought at a roadside stand, the speaker is overcome by pure happiness, struck by his desire "to take what we love inside,/to carry within us an orchard ... to hold/the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into/the round jubilance of peach." He celebrates the opportunity to live-if only for one summer day-"from joy/to joy to joy, from wing to wing,/from blossom to blossom to/impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom."

In Jacques Prevert's "Alicante" the speaker presents a similar picture-a still life, actually, in one short poem-of perfect ecstasy:

An orange on the table
Your dress on the rug
And you in my bed
Sweet present of the present
Cool of night
Warmth of my life.

So much is left unsaid in this poem, but so much can be imagined: the orange still uneaten, the lover ripe in bed (her dress cast aside as if in the haste of passion). And this is no random lover; this is the special "you" to whom the poem is addressed, the person the speaker calls the "Warmth of my life." Poised in that delicious moment between anticipation and gratification, the speaker realizes he's been given the temporary gift of exquisite love ("Sweet present of the present").

Utter sensual delight, that's what ecstatic love can deliver, an experience so euphoric it leaves the speaker in Langston Hughes's "When Sue Wears Red" testifying like a religious convert (or like a man having an orgasm). "Come with a blast of trumpets,/Jesus!" he exclaims when describing his red-hot love, Susanna Jones, whose beauty "Burns in [his] heart a love-fire sharp like pain." It's hard to say whether the speaker's attraction fuels his love for Susanna or vice versa, but who really cares, so long as both the love and the attraction are there? Who doesn't want their lover to feel this passionate, from first sight to fiftieth anniversary?

Hughes's poem takes us to the heart-or perhaps the loins-of what most people think of when they hear the term "ecstasy" in the context of love: wicked-good sex. Sure, you can have your desperately yearning romantic poems (like the Neruda and the Atwood), and yes, you can enjoy your bouncy, gorgeous love poems (like the Cummings or the Lee), but as Hughes might say, "Sweet, silver trumpets,/ Jesus!" there's nothing like a really sexy poem to drive home the full meaning of "ecstasy." Not that sex alone can give you the complete ecstasy experience- and if you think that's all you need, get ready for a quick ecstasy crash-but a little physical sizzle can keep a strong love relationship hot and healthy. We say, amen to that!

Speaking of Jesus and sex, it just so happens that seventeenth-century religious poet John Donne, author of the Holy Sonnets, also wrote what is arguably the sexiest poem ever produced in English, Elegie XIX: "To His Mistress Going to Bed." The poem is one long striptease, in which the speaker- with great tenderness and humor-directs his lover to undress, one article of clothing at a time. "Off with that girdle," he tells her; "Unlace your self" from that corset (which, he adds, has enviable proximity to her breasts); drop that gown (to reveal a body as beautiful "As when from flowery meads th'hills shadowe steales"); and then "softly tread" into this bed, "love's hallow'd temple." Smooth seducer, the speaker mixes the romantic with the lustful, praising his lover's beauty in order to get her in bed, then playfully asking permission to explore her body as if it's a new land he has just discovered: "Licence my roaving hands, and let them go/Before, behind, between, above, below." Donne may seem daunting to non-poetry lovers, being an old seventeenth-century guy, but he's a dirty-minded, smart, and funny old guy, and well worth the read for all ecstasy lovers.

Like Donne's "To His Mistress," Dorianne Laux's "The Shipfitter's Wife" is an erotic undressing poem-only in this one the wife peels off her husband's sweaty work clothes, unlaces his "steeltoed boots," strokes his ankles and feet, and then "open[s] his clothes and take[s]/the whole day inside," from the "miles of copper pipe" to the "Spark of lead/kissing metal," to the climax of "the whistle,/and the long drive home." Who would have thought the language of shipyard work could sound so sexy? But to the wife, that is what's sexy; the grit and grime of domestic life with her husband. In fact, she says she "loved [her husband] most" when she could soothe and make love to him, despite-or perhaps because of-his "cracked hands" and forehead "anointed with grease."

Sure, roll your eyes, say we're romanticizing the hell out of living with someone day in and day out. But how fun is it to read a really hot poem about married sex (or shall we say, sex between two people who have been committed to each other for a long time)? So many of us tend to think that ecstasy is something you experience only at the beginning of an affair, as in Kim Konopka's "I Want." The speaker in that poem can't wait for her lover to move in, so that she can live her fantasy of playing house, of "cook[ing] naked and drunk," with "kisses bitten between bites."

If you're lucky, you'll experience that kind of ecstasy moment not only when you first fall in love, but throughout many years of being together. Well, maybe you won't necessarily cook naked and drunk, since life isn't always a Hollywood romantic comedy. But maybe, despite the ups and downs of long-term love, despite your most jaded and cynical inclinations, every once in a while you'll find yourself giddy with desire for your partner, grateful for the chance to "take what we love inside," as Li-Young Lee put it, to live "from joy/to joy to joy ... /from blossom to blossom to/impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from You Drive Me Crazy by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez Copyright © 2005 by Mary Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Vélez . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    The third book of poetry that Ms. Esselman and Ms. Velez have put together, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY can help anyone once again believe in the power and redeeming force of love. Whether newlyweds, heading towards your golden anniversary, or gripped in the claws of new love with a significant other, these poems are for you. <BR/><BR/>From Shakespeare to Neruda, from e.e. Cummings to a poet named Rumi, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY tackles every aspect of love and lays it bare. A testament to true love in VALENTINE segues into the daily lives of a couple caught in a lull in APEX PLUMBING. You can be thrown into that frenzied feeling of new love and sexuality in I WANT, then tossed back into the sea of heartache with FINDING IS THE FIRST ACT. <BR/><BR/>I am the first to admit that I don't know all the ins and outs of poetry. I don't know the structure with which true poems are put together; I haven't a clue as to what makes a poem a poem. What I do know, however, is that love is glorious thing. It's also the most painful emotion that a human being can suffer. In this book, you can live through the range of emotions that we all experience every day-longing, need, understanding, misery, and hope. <BR/><BR/>YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY is for the woman who knows that Hallmark cards aren't for real people. There are no cards to say "Gee, I'm sorry your kid got kicked off the basketball team," or "Oops, guess that comment I made about husbands who pick their noses in public wasn't so funny after all." This book is for me, for you, for everyone who knows that the good always comes with the bad, that baggage is generously included with your lover, and that being imperfect isn't, after all, necessarily the end of the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Originally Posted on Romance Junkies

    The third book of poetry that Ms. Esselman and Ms. Velez have put together, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY can help anyone once again believe in the power and redeeming force of love. Whether newlyweds, heading towards your golden anniversary, or gripped in the claws of new love with a significant other, these poems are for you. From Shakespeare to Neruda, from e.e. Cummings to a poet named Rumi, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY tackles every aspect of love and lays it bare. A testament to true love in VALENTINE segues into the daily lives of a couple caught in a lull in APEX PLUMBING. You can be thrown into that frenzied feeling of new love and sexuality in I WANT, then tossed back into the sea of heartache with FINDING IS THE FIRST ACT. I am the first to admit that I don't know all the ins and outs of poetry. I don't know the structure with which true poems are put together I haven't a clue as to what makes a poem a poem. What I do know, however, is that love is glorious thing. It's also the most painful emotion that a human being can suffer. In this book, you can live through the range of emotions that we all experience every day-longing, need, understanding, misery, and hope. YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY is for the woman who knows that Hallmark cards aren't for real people. There are no cards to say 'Gee, I'm sorry your kid got kicked off the basketball team,' or 'Oops, guess that comment I made about husbands who pick their noses in public wasn't so funny after all.' This book is for me, for you, for everyone who knows that the good always comes with the bad, that baggage is generously included with your lover, and that being imperfect isn't, after all, necessarily the end of the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    Close to perfect

    I just loved this anthology! I am always searching for great poems to email my friends. This collection had tons of funny, witty, sarcastic poems but just as many beautiful ones. Try The Hell with Love, the editors first anthology- a bit darker but just as funny!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)