Carol Martin-Sperry


After 30 years of dedicated practice as a bi-lingual couples and sex therapist, Carol retired from the field and returned to literary pursuits. She is the author of 3 books about sex and relationships, “Couples and Sex: An introduction to relationship dynamics and psychosexual concepts” 2004 Radcliffe Press; “Good sex Bad sex No sex” 2012 Endeavour Publishing and “Sexual Healing: Stories and insights from the therapist’s couch” 2014 Constable and Robinson.


Carol is a contributor to the Erotic Review and a French literary translator. She was awarded a Fellowship at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2009 and represented the BACP in the media as a writer, broadcaster and consultant for many years.


Carol was named in the Evening Standard list of top 20 therapists and profiled in the Guardian. She ran a training course for counsellors and worked as a course director and facilitator for Skyros. She currently runs literary courses for The Literary Salon.


Carol was educated at the Lycée Français de Londres and University College, University of London (BA Hons French and Italian). She previously worked for Club Med, the Central Office of Information for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as a literary French translator.


Her translated works include the screenplays of Jean Cocteau and one by Luis Bunuel, several books on art, two film subtitles and various poems.














138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-44-2


PUB: MAY 2017


English translation with parallel French text















“These beautifully translated poems capture the fierce and passionate voice of Joyce Mansour. They express her obsessive and violent fantasies of sex and death, her cries of madness and desolation. The translations stay close to the original while using the flexibility of the English language to best effect. Reading these poems is an intense and powerful experience that may leave the reader breathless.”

Anna Maconochie 

Author: ‘Only the visible can vanish’



Strawberries and Black Pudding contains poems in translation from the French by Joyce Mansour, 20th century surrealist erotic poet.


Joyce was a British-born francophone poet who grew up in Egypt. Both her mother and her husband died in her youth. She and her second husband moved to Paris where she developed a close friendship with Andre Breton who helped her publish her surrealist poetry.


Her strikingly original work expresses the cruel madness of love, both physical and emotional, described with shocking and violent imagery. Her poems are stark and painful, with an almost frightening and obsessive streak of sado-masochism. Yet there is often a moving tenderness and sensitivity in her poems. Therein lie their power and their beauty. These poems are bare, spare, every word counts, her voice is urgent, sometimes erotic, sometimes crying out in despair, with death and decay lurking in the background.


In translating her work I have chosen to stay as close as possible to the original, to respect each word as she chose it. Her constructions are not complex, her rhythms are pure, simplicity is all, but what an extraordinary achievement.


Carol Martin-Sperry, 2017





Strawberries and Black Pudding


Joyce Mansour

(25 July 1928 – 27 August 1986)


Translated by

Carol Martin-Sperry

J’ai ouvert ta tête


J’ai ouvert ta tête

Pour lire tes pensées

J’ai croqué tes yeux

Pour goûter ta vue.

J’ai bu ton sang

Pour connaître ton désir

Et de ton corps frissonnant

J’ai fait mon aliment.




Que mes seins te provoquent


Que mes seins te provoquent

Je veux ta rage

Je veux voir tes yeux s’épaissir

Tes joues blanchir en se creusant

Je veux tes frissons

Que tu éclates entres mes cuisses

Que mes désirs soient exaucés sur le sol fertile

De ton corps sans pudeur.





Gibier de macadam


Il y a vos mains dans le moteur

Mes cuisses sur le caisson

Le frein entre mes genoux

Votre chair contre ma peau

Il y a un oiseau sur le ventilateur

Un homme sous les roues

Vos mains dans le moteur

Qui joue avec un clou

Il y a un cri dans le moteur

Un gendarme et son calepin

Une route dans le rétroviseur

Du vent entre mes genoux

Un colosse sans tête conduit le véhicule

Ce sont mes mains sur le volant

Mon sexe candide qui implore.

I opened your head


I opened your head

To read your thoughts

I crunched your eyes

To taste your sight.

I drank your blood

To know your desire

And your trembling body

Became my food.




May my breasts provoke you


May my breasts provoke you

I want your rage

I want to see your eyes thicken

Your cheeks whiten as they go hollow

I want your shudders

May you burst between my thighs

May my desires be fulfilled on the fertile soil

Of your shameless body.





Tarmac guts


Your hands are in the engine

My thighs on the coffer

The brake between my knees

Your flesh against my skin

There is a bird on the fan

A man under the wheels

Your hands in the engine

Playing with a nail

There is a cry in the engine

A policeman and his notebook

A road in the rear-view mirror

Wind between my knees

A headless giant drives the car

Those are my hands on the steering wheel

My naïve sex beseeches.

author amend Mansour