Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The problem with the Song of Solomon

Dear Hannah,

If anyone really wants to know the most interesting thing about the Song of Solomon, I wouldn't tell him, like our dear, late friend Mr. Caldecott, that it's interesting because of its physical position in the Bible.  It may be true that it's halfway through the Bible, and it may be true that God's passionate love for us is central to the meaning of the Bible, and that the Song of Solomon is a powerful allegory about God's desire.  But if anyone asks me why it's really interesting, I'd tell them it's because Solomon went after the Shulamite when he was already married.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

To catch a prince: a treatise on male sexuality

Dear Hannah,

I want to apologize in advance for this essay: it's not anything a girl wants to hear from anyone, much less from her father; but I figure that if there's anything worse than an honest letter about male sexuality, it's a woman never being told how men think, and then finding out from experience.  One of the great cruelties of human existence is showing a girl lots of Disney films and never acquainting her with Solomon -- or in other words, giving her an ideal picture of the beginnings of romance, and never telling her that men are sexually insatiable.  They say Solomon loved his wives, and this much may be true.  But it's easy to love a beautiful woman and treat her well for a moment when you get to share the rest of your week with a thousand other beautiful women.  For the rest of us who deal with one exclusively, loving your wife is a more laborious task.  Solomon's love, however admirable, is really a matter of timing.