I've been working on an essay on the Song of Songs. I'm pondering the purpose of S of S. Two question.
1. Do you think there's any way that a chapter which:
"first represents the woman's body as a mountainous landscape teeming with animal life, then evokes the actual mountains of northern Israel and Lebanon from which the lover asks his beloved to come down with him, and finally once again represents the woman's body as a landscape: this time, an enclosed bower ripe with fruit, moistened by a fresh-running spring that has its source in Lebanon, the water thus flowing underground from the literal landscape just mentioned to the figurative garden."
Robert Alter in Bloch and Bloch The Song of Songs: A New Translation talking about Song of Songs chapter 4.
was not meant as a turn on?*
2. If you think it was meant as a turn on in some sense, do you find this problematic?
Most people are okay with the Song being an endorsement of sexual love within the biblical boundaries of marriage. But are you okay with it not being just a theoretical endorsement of (married) sex, but also... more than that. Poetry that makes us feel nothing is bad poetry. The language is meant to work on us and in us to do something... Are you okay with that? For married and unmarried readers?
* Of course, readers who have dulled their senses will find a 3000 year old unillustrated text not worth the effort.