Here’s a story from a while ago that I only recently realized would be perfect for this blog. It comes from last spring, when I was taking a Latin course on Ovid’s love poetry.  See that book below?  That’s one of the books we used for this class (image courtesy of Amazon.com).  See, because it’s Classics, “erotic” doesn’t necessarily mean pornographic; rather, Love = Eros, so any love poetry can also be called erotic poetry.

Ovid, The Erotic Poems

Knowing that, here’s what happened: I ended up ordering the book online from Penguin.  I’d never ordered anything directly from them before, but that’s what made the most sense in this scenario.  One day, the package slip arrived in my box - my book was here!  Hooray!  I eagerly took the slip to the mail window and waited to get my book.

Now, I had no idea that in addition to putting a packing list inside the mailer, Penguin would also print an itemized label on the outside of the package.  So when the man at the mail window brought it over to me, imagine how surprised we both were to see that the package was clearly labeled to contain EROTIC POEMS.  Better yet, the good folks at Penguin were very nice to upgrade my shipping to rush delivery, which meant that there was a bright orange sticker indicating that my EROTIC POEMS were to be RUSHed to me post haste.  (Incidentally, I’m pretty sure this bright orange must have been similar to the color I turned when I saw the look of judgment coming from the man at the window.)

What can I say?  Sometimes you just need your erotic poems ASAP.  But, Penguin, maybe you could offer discreet packaging options in the future?

I was having lunch the other day when a fellow diner asked out of the blue, “So I have to ask… how did you ever discover Dr. Palmer?”

Now, Dr. Palmer is a self-proclaimed “poet” whose sex ed album, 'Sex Poetry #1' is made up of songs filled with helpful explanations of sexual harassment, hermaphrodites, adultery, and incest, among other topics.  And, as I explained to my interlocutor, I managed to find Dr. Palmer because one night, I had been doing a lot of readings about Classical Mythology with a friend who was reading Game of Thrones.  This is a dangerous combination indeed, since between the two of these, searching Spotify for songs about incest seemed to simply make sense at the time.

And while I’m not sure what we thought we were going to get, I’m glad to have Dr. Palmer’s music in my life.  Would it be going too far to call him the best praeceptor amoris (teacher of love) since Ovid?  Probably, so I won’t.  But you can listen to these highlights and decide for yourself.

"A Modern ‘Metamorphoses’: Or, How Daphne Became A Ream of Copier Paper"
— Spoiler: it wasn’t Apollo’s fault this time.
""Bros Before Hoes," And Other Popular Expressions Byblis Misunderstood"
— And, of course, for those who need a refresher on their mythological figures, Byblis is famous for getting into some unfortunate incesty shenanigans and later becoming a river. You know how these things go…
"How Phaedra Got Her Groove Back"
"What Happens in Baiae Stays in Baiae: The Discourse Surrounding Popular Tourist Destinations Commonly Associated with Scandalous Behavior"
— FYI: “Baiae was for several hundred years a fashionable resort, especially towards the end of the Roman Republic. Baiae was even more popular than Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Capri with the super-rich, notorious for the hedonistic temptations on offer, and for rumours of scandal and corruption." - Wikipedia
"That’s [Why You Absolutely Should Not Know] What Makes You Beautiful: One Direction, Ovid’s Narrator from the “Amores” Has Words for You"
"“First You Gotta Put Your Neck Into It”: Ovidian Erotodidaxis in the “Nasti Muzik” of Khia"