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99| Froward Violet

Sujata Iyengar


Froward Violet did mockingly chide:
I am no cold maid, no, not I. Call them
Dead Men's Fingers if the name saves your blush,
Or even Long Purples if you really must,
But I prefer names that don't try to hide:
Dogs' Balls, Dogs' Cods, Testiculum Odoratum;
Hares' Ballocks, Goats' Cullions, Testiculum Pumilionem;
That is, Good-smelling Balls, Dwarfs' Testicles;
Priests' Pintel, Angels' Stones, Fools' Cullions;
Bastard Satyrion, Grass That Stands Inside.
There are lots of different types; but all grow
Hot, and moist, in damp marsh and wet meadow.
When you suffer sore satiated lust
Add honey and open your ulcered mouth wide.
If hell's fire, then I've already fried.

Sujata Iyengar teaches Shakespeare and English Renaissance Literature at the University of Georgia. With Christy Desmet, she co-founded and co-edits Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, the award-winning, online, scholarly, multimedia Shakespeare journal. Her last book, Shakespeare's Medical Language, was re-issued in paperback in April 2014.

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