The Hebrew Bible contains a particularly puzzling little book known as the Song of Songs. It is also known as the Song of Solomon or as Canticles. The book appears to be a collection of poetry on the theme of human love. It is often frankly erotic. The poems typically presuppose two primary figures: a male lover and a female lover. Like much poetry, its polysemy makes it both evocative and enigmatic. At some early point before our first explicit citation of it, it was seen as an allegory for God's love. It was "the most frequently interpreted book of medieval Christianity" (Ann Matter) and it inspired a great many medieval Jewish commentaries as well. The Song of Songs has played a fascinating role in Western culture. It has been a test case and a workshop for allegorical method. It has been a mainstay of asceticism and an impetus for mysticism.
This page presents a sampling of sights and sounds from the Song of Songs.