Danish poetry, literature, amorous poems


The name of the Danish physician and poet Emil Aarestrup is associated with sensual, erotic poetry in which a sharp, anatomical eye for the beauty of the human body is joined with a profound narrative about love in a single embrace. In Aarestrup’s works the body comes alive. His erotic gaze is ever-present as a layer of desire in his work, just as his sense of the all-inclusive joy of the embrace conceptualizes pleasure of an explosive and outrageous kind. This was incompatible with the puritanical petit-bourgeois self-restraint and human isolation of the period in which he wrote. This celebration of the erotic permeates his poetry with a modern consciousness of man’s sensual nature, independent of time and space. In Aarestrup’s work, we encounter a poet of Denmark’s Golden Age breaking through the social mores of his time and writing himself onto the European poetic stage.