My roommate has a subscription to FHM (For Him Magazine). It's a men's magazine that caters to the most primal of the human male's urges, primarily boobs, beer and sports. As for myself I consider that type of magazine a bit beneath me which is why I subscribe to other more intellectual publications such as Maxim and Stuff.
While FHM is not my preferred reading material I have been known to peruse its pages from time to time, however there is nothing that could have prepared me for what was to happen in the December 2001 issue.
This issue happened to be the "Sexy Lingerie Special!" and "special" was right. It featured the girls of daytime TV as you've never seen them... in lingerie! And there were four different covers featuring Sharon Case (The Young and the Restless), Kelly Monaco (Port Charles), Adriana Catano (Secreto de Amor) and Nikki Schieler Ziering (The Price is Right).
So far nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me until I opened up to the first lingerie girl, Nikki Schieler Ziering. It was pretty standard, a picture of her in some lingerie looking all sexy and some suggestive text next to her head but when I looked to my right I saw something that changed my life. It was a poem written by her... by Nikki Schieler Ziering herself! I knew she was beautiful, I knew she could point to a solid oak dining set, but I never imagined in my wildest dreams that she was a poet! Come to find out each of the four cover girls had written a poem about lingerie and what it means to them. What it meant to them varied, what it meant to me was an easy article for Monday.
I've decided to review and critique the poems for your reading pleasure. I hope you enjoy the reviews as much as the poems themselves.
Nikki Schieler Ziering
From Victoria's Secret to
Agent Provocateur to
Frederick's of Hollywood,
The garment conceals to reveal.
From a midnight shower to
The office lunch hour,
Lingerie provides sensual power.
It is quite possible that this is my favorite poem ever written. This poem is the first in the series and in many ways the series' strongest. The style is unorthodox both in meter and rhyme scheme. The unusual AABCADD ryhme scheme threw me off a bit at first but the poem is rather Cummingsesque in its approach. The meter (8-7-6-10-7-6-10) is rarely found in modern poetry. In trying to classify this poem I found myself stumped. We'll call it a new style... perhaps Anapestic Sestameter.
lingerie for everyday
Pick a color
Choose a look
simple, sexy, warm
But comfort must
be number one.
One thing I really enjoy about these poems is that the women seemed to be very intent on having them layout in a specific manner. You wouldn't expect that for a woman who is famous from daytime TV. This poem is freeverse yet it attempts a rhyme rather late in the game so it could also be a ABCDEFGHG rhyme scheme. Kelly found the words that carried the most weight in her poem (i.e. everyday, color, it) and chose to end lines with these by tightening her poem. This makes an already powerful poem much more dramatic.
At first I thought that these poems were being altered so that they could fit around all the curvy pictures of the women on the pages but when I read the plain text versions on fhmus.com I notices that they stayed true to the poems' form. I am very impressed by the girls wanting to uphold the integrity of their poems and not conforming to "the norm".
Soft and sweet,
Makes men's hearts beat.
The cotton kind is fun,
The garters I never shun.
But it's the red thongs
The sex webs spun.
This is most closely related to the common limerick (AABBA) but puts a modern twist on the classic theme. While the poem itself is not the strongest in the collection it does create interesting imagery juxtaposing "red thongs" with "sex webs spun". It kinda made me think of when I was young and I had my first sexual fantasies about Spider Woman.
The fabric is
soft and clean,
Anything but mean.
The colors, sexy
I'm a Victoria's
Surprise is the key,
Mystery so free,
my man glee.
I'm not sure if Adriana Catano is even a native English speaker. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she's not. I only say this because she is on a show called Secreto de Amor which is probably German or something. Her rhyme scheme ABBACBDBEEFE is uncommon in its simplicity. The words seem like they could have been gotten from a Spanish to English rhyming dictionary quite easily. I am touched by her devotion to "her man" and her desire to "bring him glee". She must really love him but I find the end of the poem a bit of distraction from the lonely beginning in which a woman is alone with her lingerie.
All in all I think that these four women have taken powerful strides to try to show that behind a beautiful woman there can easily be a brilliant woman as well. I think from now on the readers of FHM and men in general will look at not only the outer beauty of a woman but the inner knowledge and talent that lies beneath.