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-   -   Poly-friendly songs & books (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35438)

redsirenn 09-04-2009 10:40 PM

Poly-friendly songs & books
 
Torn Between Two Lovers

-Artist: Mary MacGregor
-peak Billboard position # 1 in 1976-77
-Words and Music by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul , and Mary) and Phil Jarrel


There are times when a woman has to say what's on her mind
Even though she knows how much it's gonna hurt
Before I say another word let me tell you I love you
Let me hold you close and say these words as gently as I can

There's been another man that I've needed and I've loved
But that doesn't mean I love you less
And he knows you can't possess me and he knows he never will
There's just this empty place inside of me that only he can fill

CHORUS
Torn between two lovers
, feelin' like a fool
Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules
Torn between two lovers, feelin' like a fool
Lovin' you both is breakin' all the rules

You mustn't think you've failed me just because there's someone else
You were the first real love I ever had
And all the things I ever said, I swear they still are true
For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you

CHORUS

I couldn't really blame you if you turned and walked away
But with everything I feel inside, I'm asking you to stay

CHORUS


Torn between two lovers
FADE
Feelin' like a fool
Lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules

MaybeSparrow 01-30-2011 05:27 PM

Poly in art: here's a thread about finding a portrait of a triad at the Hide/Seek exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC...

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5374

coolshades 02-07-2011 08:42 AM

Hi,

any suggestions for polybooks? i can think of Marge Piercy's Summer people.

LovingRadiance 02-20-2011 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolshades (Post 65129)
Hi,

any suggestions for polybooks? i can think of Marge Piercy's Summer people.


The Outlander series has a poly triad in it. Around book 6 or so.

The Kushiel series has a STRONG poly theme and it's positively so. It also has a strong BDSM them in the first 3 books particularly... just as a warning to those who may be uncomfortable with that. ;)

I've read every book of both series and loved both thus far. New books due out in each late summer.

The Wheel of Time series supposedly has a poly-theme too. I haven't read it. My 11 year old is reading it and he says "well yeah DUH it has a poly-theme mom". Not sure what the heck that was supposed to mean!

PolyNewbie 03-11-2011 01:31 AM

In the music realm, there's David Crosby's "Triad." Jefferson Airplane covered it, and that's the version I suspect most people are familiar with. It's the one with the line "Why can't we go on as three?," which I always thought was the name of the song until just the other day, when I was searching for an MP3 on the web to use as a personal ringtone for someone very special. ;)

MrFarFromRight 03-11-2011 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolshades (Post 65129)
Hi,

any suggestions for polybooks? i can think of Marge Piercy's Summer people.

Marge Piercy has a polyamory slant in several of her books. My favourite novel of all time (actually in a 3-way tie with Lewis Carroll's Alice books) is her sci-fi utopia "Woman On The Edge Of Time". Non-possesive relationships play a major part in that. "Small Changes" includes a V that ultimately goes sour, it's been years since I read "Dance The Eagle To Sleep", but I think that that (a novel about a modern "tribe"), too, had poly aspects.
Some of them don't deal with polyamory, but with the "sexual revolution" in which women also got exploited. ("I feel guilty if I say no.") Certainly in ALL of her books (she's my favourite living author), Piercy comes down firmly in favour of women's sexual autonomy.

KatTails 03-11-2011 01:53 PM

Poly in books
 
I know most of you are talking about movies - but I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and the main character, Mikael Blomkvist, has had a 20 year V relationship with Erika Berger, who is married and whose husband is aware and accepting of their relationship. There are subtitled movies - but the poly relationship is not mentioned. The movies are being remade in the U.S. - but I would doubt it will be a part of the story line.

Ready2Fly 03-19-2011 07:12 PM

My lover and I saw a stage production of "Bed and Sofa" a couple of weeks ago. She had seen it advertised and thought it might be kind of a fun advertisement for poly. It's based on a 1927 Russian silent film about life in the early Soviet Union.

An out-of-work printer moves in with his friend and his friend's wife Ludmilla, staying on the sofa. While the husband is away on business, the friend and wife have an affair. After the husband's initial anger and door-slamming exit, the three eventually settle down into a vee with the two men resuming their previous friendship as each takes his turn in the bed while the other turns a blind eye on the sofa. The two men are, unfortunately, assholes, and amongst other things, insist that Ludmilla get an abortion when she becomes pregnant. As a result, Ludmilla leaves them both. As she's getting on the train to leave, the two men realize how bad they've been to her and wish she would come back.

We didn't think it was quite the advertisement for poly that my love thought it would be. They never really come to an honest arrangement; each guy just sort of accepts that he has to turn that blind eye to what he at heart considers to be Ludmilla's infidelity. By the end of the play, you can see that the playwrights were trying to lead the audience to hope that the three would get a clue and get back together (the two men show up at the abortion clinic Ludmilla has just left in tears, with flowers, chocolates and apologies singing together, "we are her husband!") but that is less clear in the movie, and doesn't change that the two guys really are both jerks and Ludmilla deserves better anyway.

We didn't think the play was very challenging (since we have sort of already solved that philosophical problem)... but apparently lots of others in the audience did. It was refreshing to listen to mainstream people talking about poly issues--- what would they have done in that situation, could they live in a nonmonogamous relationship, etc.

BlackUnicorn 04-08-2011 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 67424)
The Kushiel series has a STRONG poly theme and it's positively so. It also has a strong BDSM them in the first 3 books particularly... just as a warning to those who may be uncomfortable with that. ;)

The new Terre D'Ange series has a poly heroine as well! And is ooshy-mooshy vanilla to boot!

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance (Post 67424)
The Wheel of Time series supposedly has a poly-theme too. I haven't read it. My 11 year old is reading it and he says "well yeah DUH it has a poly-theme mom". Not sure what the heck that was supposed to mean!

Hmm, Wheel of Time. An old lover I have very mixed feelings about nowadays. I read it voraciously but nowadays think it is very misogynic in its delivery. But yes, polygyny very much in evidence and warmly supported.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatTails (Post 70517)
I know most of you are talking about movies - but I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and the main character, Mikael Blomkvist, has had a 20 year V relationship with Erika Berger, who is married and whose husband is aware and accepting of their relationship. There are subtitled movies - but the poly relationship is not mentioned. The movies are being remade in the U.S. - but I would doubt it will be a part of the story line.

The heroine of the Millennium series is poly (or maybe non-monogamist would be a more accurate description), too, as much as you can really say she is emotionally functioning at all. Both her and Mikael's sexual exploits were toned down considerably in the film version, although the first movie alludes briefly to the fact that Erika is married. At work, everyone scoffs at the tabloid article with pics of Mikael and Erica holiday making with the screaming headlines 'Mikael Blomqvist dating a married co-worker', so it is treated as sort of a non-issue.

One author I find really woman/alternative sexuality/gender/poly friendly is John Irving. One of his early novels focuses on swingers and how their relationship turns from swinging to a quad with some unforeseen consequences. Both Hotel New Hampshire and Cider House Rules are at least poly-friendly.

Back to the fantasy-land: Ursula le Guinn, specifically her novels on the planet of O and their strange marriage customs (quad hilarity ensues). George R.R. Martin (here's to hoping he sometime finishes his Song of Ice and Fire) has one of the central characters of his saga transitioning from monogamist to open-to-the-idea-of-polyandry. We shall see how that develops.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Sam and Frodo yet ;).

HOW COULD I FORGET?

Kazuo Ishiguro; Never Let Me Go
Michael Cunningham; The House at the End of the World & The Hours
Marion Zimmer Bradley; Mists of Avalon

Read and loved all of them.

MrFarFromRight 04-19-2011 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 75427)
One author I find really woman/alternative sexuality/gender/poly friendly is John Irving. One of his early novels focuses on swingers and how their relationship turns from swinging to a quad with some unforeseen consequences. Both Hotel New Hampshire and Cider House Rules are at least poly-friendly.

I’ve been thinking about this [polyamory or poly-friendly in the books of John Irving] for a few days (since reading your comment) and frankly I’m rather doubtful. I’m a fan of Irving’s, I read as many of his books as I can get my hands on (most of them more than once) and there’s only one I didn’t like (in fact, I thought it stank!) – his first novel entitled “Setting Free The Bears”.

John Irving is a writer who champions causes, ideas, and “marginal” groups and – I think – helps to make them more palatable, more acceptable, to his public. Several themes that he has taken up in one book reappear in later ones. (There’s a whole table of recurring themes on his wikipedia page - all of his books feature writers, all but 2 feature fatal accidents, all but [the same] 2 feature an absent parent…) An example is “a woman’s right to choose” / the idea that abortion is (in some cases) the best possible option. [Curiously, this theme isn’t listed in that wikipedia table.] This appeared in several books before being made one of the main pillars of “The Cider House Rules”. He has been sympathetic to homosexuality, incest (“The Hotel New Hampshire”), transexuality (“The World According To Garp”, “A Son Of The Circus”), and asexuality (again “Garp” – Garp’s mother has sex one time... because she wants to get pregnant – and the narrator in “A Prayer For Owen Meany”), single mothers (“Garp” and others)... and I’m thankful to him for challenging people’s prejudices.

But polyamory? Does he ever champion polyamory (even implicitly)? If we understand polyamory to necessitate the acceptance of your lover’s right to form meaningful, important loving relationships (including sexual ones if they so wish) with others, I – personally – find little evidence of this in Irving’s novels (the ones that I’ve read). Can you give me specific examples?

Garp’s wife has an affair with a younger man, but he asks her to end it and she does.
In the first part of the book, “A Widow For One Year”, (this early part was made into the film “The Door In The Floor”), the famous author’s wife has an affair with his gofer. She abandons them both (and her young daughter, the title character of the book).
I seem to remember that in “Setting Free The Bears” (a book I have no intention of ever reading again), the two main characters are interested in the same chambermaid (or one just pretends to be, to disguise his closet homosexuality?)... but one’s jealousy (he’s in love with the other) drives him to suicide.
In “A Prayer For Owen Meany”, Meany certainly accepts Hester’s right to a free sexuality, but Hester treats other men as “use and throw away”: the only meaningful sexual relationship she has is with Meany.
In “The Cider House Rules” – which you mention – two of the main characters start a relationship after they believe that her fiancÚ is dead. She gets pregnant and when the fiancÚ turns up alive (but in a wheelchair) the other two feel guilty about their relationship and end it. They pretend that their child is adopted. (Which gentle, protective lie the fiancÚ – later husband – sees through... and implicitly forgives. He’s a nice guy – which is one of the reasons that the other two feel so guilty about their “cheating”.)

I only read “The Hotel New Hampshire” – which you give as an example - one time (I’d like to read it again), many years ago, at a time when I wasn’t looking for examples of polyamory in literature, so I can’t be sure of that one.
I’ve also read “The Fourth Hand”, “A Son Of The Circus”, but can’t recall polyamory in any of them. Perhaps I overlooked it?

Irving’s cases of “cheating” usually end in disaster and heartache. He certainly doesn’t condemn, he generally shows compassion for his characters’ reasons for cheating (he’s sympathetic and understanding about the wife’s and the gofer’s cheating, but the famous writer is presented as a philandering, self-worshipping arsehole who uses people – and takes pleasure in humiliating them), and perhaps he’s gently hinting: “Wouldn’t we all be happier if jealousy and possessiveness didn’t exist?!” But I can’t recall any examples of polyamory being actively presented as a positive thing.

[I must admit that my reading depends on libraries and finding second-hand books, while living in a non-English-speaking country. (Some books I read in translations.) Perhaps Irving has been working towards expousing polyamory and has already reached doing so in later books that I haven’t read yet. In which case I’d be glad to hear it.]
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 75427)
Back to the fantasy-land: Ursula le Guinn, specifically her novels on the planet of O and their strange marriage customs (quad hilarity ensues).

As for LeGuin: certainly one of the very best sci-fi writers of all time. I’m a huge fan. I also read anything of hers I can get my hands on. But again, haven’t got my hands on as much as I’d like. Which novels are set on the planet O?


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