The first time I read the Song of Solomon, when I was about 14, I thought it was weird. But later it grew on me, and now I think it’s one of the sexiest poems out there. I know in some Christian traditions it’s believed to be an allegory of Christ’s love for the Church, but for most Jews it’s a sacred poem celebrating love. A song of verses from it, “Dodi li” (meaning “My beloved is mine”), is often sung at Jewish weddings. Here’s my favorite part (from the King James Version, which is my favorite translation, being an English history and literature geek and all; you can find the rest of the Song in that translation here):
10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
11 Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.
12 A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,
14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:
15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.