The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton
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From the joy and anguish of her own experience, Sexton fashioned poems that told truths about the inner lives of men and women. This book comprises Sexton's ten volumes of verse, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Live or Die, as well as seven poems form her last years.
come I'll have to go again. Instead, I must convert to love as reasonable as Latin, as solid as earthenware: an equilibrium I never knew. And Lent will keep its hurt for someone else. Christ knows enough staunch guys have hitched on him in trouble, thinking his sticks were badges to wear. 4. Spring rusts on its skinny branch and last summer's lawn is soggy and brown. Yesterday is just a number. All of its winters avalanche out of sight. What was, is gone. Mother, last night I slept in your Bonwit
out of it and it worked for two years and all of July. This August I began to dream of drowning. The dying went on and on in water as white and clear as the gin I drink each day at half-past five. Going down for the last time, the last breath lying, I grapple with eels like ropes — it's ether, it's queer and then, at last, it's done. Now the scavengers arrive, the hard crawlers who come to clean up the ocean floor. And death, that old butcher, will bother me no more. I had never had this dream
the telephone bills, the wrinkled photo and the lost connections, the one who kept saying — Listen! Listen! We must never! We must never! and all those things . . . the one with her eyes half under her coat, with her large gun-metal blue eyes, with the thin vein at the bend of her neck that hummed like a tuning fork, with her shoulders as bare as a building, with her thin foot and her thin toes, with an old red hook in her mouth, the mouth that kept bleeding into the terrible fields of her soul .
closing of hands I looked for their houses and silences. I found just one. you were mine and I lent you out. I look for uncomplicated hymns but love has none. March 1965 YOUR FACE ON THE DOG'S NECK It is early afternoon. You sit on the grass with your rough face on the dog's neck. Right now you are both as still as a snapshot. That infectious dog ought to let aflybother her, ought to run out in an immense field, chasing rabbits and skunks, mauling the cats, licking insects off her rump, and stop
a "failed" poem with regret, if not downright anger, after dozens of attempts to make it come right. It was awesome the way she could arrive at our bimonthly sessions with three, four, even five new and complicated poems. She was never meek about it, but she did listen, and she did respect the counsel of others. She gave generous help to her colleagues, and she required, demanded, insisted on generous response. As a result of this experience, Anne came to believe in the value of the workshop. She