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I have heard of fishcoming up for the sunwho stayed forever,shoulder to shoulder,avenues of fish that never got back,all their proud spots and solitudessucked out of them.I think of flieswho come from the foul cavesout into the arena.They are transparent at first.Then they are blue with copper wings.They glitter on the forehead of men.Neither bird nor acrobatthey will dry out like small black shoes.I am an identical being.Diseased by the cold and the smell of the houseI undress under the burning...
This was by far my favourite collection of Anne Sexton’s that I’ve read so far. She starts off by quoting Arthur Rimbaud within one of the first poems which made me instantly fall hook, line and sinker for her once again. She coincidentally has a habit of quoting everyone that I’ve always wanted to see indexed in this type of literature. She also dedicates one of her poems to Sylvia Plath who was a close friend of hers at college. This one really gnaws at your heartstrings considering the fact t...
This is a problem.When a person suffers and expresses that suffering incisively, shouldn't we feel compassion and shouldn't that compassion be absolute?Why isn't it then?Why do goths grate on us so much and why do people sometimes say, "Then kill yourself already!" when what they'd rather have is for the person to get better?It must be the self-centeredness of the whining. Suicide shouldn't be judged harshly, but complaining endlessly probably should. As someone not known for being Mr. Sunshine,...
"But suicides have a special language.Like carpenters they want to know which tools.They never ask why build."This collection is really just all DIE. Her 'Love Poems' are more LIVE.I liked these, many are clear descriptions of losing sanity, willpower, feeling, someone...But I prefer her 'Love Poems', because I get a kick out of Sexton's explicit and strong yearning in her poems, and I find this was more captivating in her poems for love than those for death.Favorites: Flee On Your DonkeyWanting...
''But I would cry,rooted into the wall thatwas once my mother,if I could remember howand if I had any tears''My poor heart:Sexton pierces my soul with blunt needles and laughs in the process. This is the best collection of hers I've read so far. The best way to end a year full of struggle and raw questions about reality and all things we pretend to understand in vain.
"I was the girl of the chain letter, the girl full of talk of coffins and keyholes,...the one who kept dropping off to sleep, ... for hours and hours and then she’d wake, after the small death,...and then she’d beas soft and delicate as an excess of light..."
Live or DieThis book of poems by Anne Sexton won the Pulitzer Prize in 1967. As the title suggests many of the poems in this collection deal with death. But even more often the poems discuss depression and Sexton makes no attempt to hide her depression, suicidal ideation or even her suicide attempt. Despite weighing heavily on the reader’s psyche, her poetry is quite extraordinary - both beautiful and haunting. The poem entitled ‘Sylvia’s Death’ was penned just days after Sylvia Plath committed
"O Sylvia, Sylvia, with a dead box of stones and spoons, with two children, two meteors wandering loose in the tiny playroom, with your mouth into the sheet, into the roofbeam, into the dumb prayer, (Sylvia, Sylvia, where did you go after you wrote me from Devonshire about raising potatoes and keeping bees?) what did you stand by, just how did you lie down into? Thief!— how did you crawl into, crawl down alone into the death I wanted so badly and for so long, the death we said we both out...
Live or Die is Anne Sexton's fourth collection of poetry. I'd not read any of her work before, but had a feeling that I would love it. There were some poems here which I didn't much like, I must admit, but others far made up for them. There are so many interesting ideas and themes at play throughout, and her tribute to Sylvia Plath was quite beautiful. The downside for me was that there was too much religious imagery included for my personal liking.
[...]I wanted to write such a poemwith such musics, such guitars going;I tried at the teeth of soundto draw up such legions of noise;I tried at the breakwaterto catch the star off each ship;and at the closing of handsI looked for their housesand silences.I found just one.you were mineand I lent you out.I look for uncomplicated hymnsbut love has none.
Painfully sensitive, horribly depressing, joyful and heart-wrenching... I read this a lot as a teen
15:37 — FOR THE YEAR OF THE INSANE a prayerO Mary, fragile mother,hear me, hear me nowalthough I do not know your words.________i enjoyed it. it was explicit, but that's something to be expected with anne sexton, so it's not something im upset with lol. my favourite poems were the one mentioned above^, the addict, live, the legend of the one eyed man, flee on your donkey, imitations of drowning, sylvia's death and love song.
At the first reading, I felt that the Live or Die was a step back from All My Pretty Ones. However, I felt that I needed to read these poems more closely and then doing so increased my appreciation. The poems here are more complex and advanced than All My Pretty Ones much like that collection advanced from To Bedlam And Half-Way Back. One of Sexton's talents that I missed here is her ability to arrange poems in an order that illuminates the following poems, she does that best in Transformations....
"I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift."This collection was so raw and so complete I loved it. Her struggles with choosing to live or die is fascinating and I love how she chose life at the end. Tragic how death won out for her (through herself) in the end. Favorites: The Sun, Three Green Windows, Somewhere in Africa, Imitations of drowning, Love Song, Those Times..., Sylvia's Death, For the Year of the Insane, Menstruation at Forty, KE 6-8018, Wanting to Die, Self i...
Sexton's award winning third poetry collection, consisting of 33 poams. A lot of these poems deal with mental illness, suicide and Sexton's life making them highly personal. Highlights ~ "And One for My Dame" "flee on your donkey" "imitations of drowning" "consorting with angels" "man and wife" "for the year of the insane" "crossing the Atlantic" " wanting to die" "a little uncomplicated hymn" and "live".
this has been... haunting. thanks ma
Crude. Vulgar. Raw. Not for the /faint/ of heart ( read faint as prudish ), for Sexton tackles subjects considered as taboo (sexual assault, incest, parental abuse, substance use, etc)Sexton’s poems are unfiltered and disordered (the latter being reflected by her use of enjambment). Albeit, I was not very fond of her use of religious imagery and Biblical allusions ( found them arbitrary and excessive mostly ... I think it’s just me )
My favourite of the bunch was The Addict.
I swam — but the tide came in like ten thousand orgasms.I swam — but the waves were higher than horses' necks.[...]There is no news in fearbut in the end it's fearthat drowns you.
There is no news in fearbut in the end it's fearthat drowns you
low 4 stars. this is probably one of the first pieces of writing i’ve ever read that describes the distinct feeling of depersonalization so perfectly without being clinical about it.
My Favourites:The AddictFor the year of the insaneProtestant EasteThe legend of the one eyed manConsorting with anglesImitations of drowning
These poems burn. They cut bone. Their intensity is unsettling, and knowing that Sexton later committed suicide, places an even darker pall over all her poetry. Yet--there is some kind of joy here, perhaps because of the struggle she braved, the battle she faced seemingly daily between death and life.
Winner of the Pulitzer in 1967, 10 years before Sexton took her own life, these poems are reflective of her severe depression. She seems to be questioning her own existence (several poems mention being the youngest and neglected), her identity as a wife and mother, and how she will find happiness. She in fact started writing poetry after a suggestion from one of her therapists after an earlier suicide attempt. So, fair warning. Sexton was a poet I always meant to try. I would read more of her wo...
This was so cool because Sexton was an author living in Boston, so I knew all these places she was mentioning. Anyway, these poems were highly autobiographical and I think she was contemplating suicide and they felt really relevant. While working on this volume her friend Sylvia Plath died and some other people and I feel like I could understand her. All these poems just went by so quickly, but the last one was titled "Live" and it was so affirmative.
To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to losethe life you have, for greater life; to leave the friendsyou loved, for greater loving; to End a land more kindthan home, more large than earth.. ~"Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,leaving the page of the book carelessly open,something unsaid, the phone off the hookand the love, whatever it was, an infection. "
I like her nursery rhymes.
In "Live or Die" Sexton marries Christian ceremony with the psychiatric worship of chemical self help. The result is a tragic anthem of communion, uncertain worship and unknowing provenance.
my favourite poem by far is 'wanting to die'
Read as part of the 'Complete Poems', of which I reviewed.