Adultery Poems, The

The Adultery Poems

The Adultery Poems

by Nancy Holmes


  • Autumn 2002
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-98-2 (0-921870-98-1)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 92 pages
  • Poetry, Women’s Studies

Adultery with its pleasure, pain and outrage! No one writes the poetry of adultery as does Nancy Holmes. For her guide, she takes the poet Ovid who schools her in his tender cynicism and teaches her the art of love.

When she capitulates to the temptations of bad love, the poems themselves speak up and scold her into behaving properly (or improperly). When she pauses to consider her wayward ways or guilty conscience, the poems remind her that poetry is where wild abandon meets control, that her life and follies are the fuel for art. “Shut up and make love, you crazy fool,” they shout.

As Holmes shows, no matter how ridiculously one behaves or how poorly one chooses, the adventure of lust and love is one of the deepest pleasures of our adult life. Through love we are transformed into sensual slaves, life’s clowns and criminals, but these roles must be embraced or we miss out on one of the great experiences of life. These wry, sad and comic poems remind us that it was always thus, for men and women, both.

The Adultery Poems is a wonderful lusty and sophisticated book! With the lubriciousness of a female Ovid, Holmes makes love to language, each poem polished and slicked with her tongue until it gleams. This is a book to take to bed, to read under the covers. ‘Open me,’ it says, and you must.”
— Lorna Crozier

Also by Nancy Holmes



The Adultery Poems provides a reader with the bliss, excitement and despair of the naughty deed itself without ever having to leave the comfort of an easy chair. Virtual adultery, how can any reader resist an offer like that?”
Canadian Bookseller

“[Holmes] succeeds in writing erotic love poems, both playful and dangerous, while commenting on the act of doing so with a touch so light and droll that the reader delights and is challenged”
Event Magazine

“The Adultery Poems by Nancy Holmes covers the emotional ground of infidelity in both desire and deed. Holmes explores what it means to give in to guilty pleasure and tempts the readers to taste from forbidden fruit.”
Michael Dennis