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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.
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.
"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..."
Painfully sensitive, horribly depressing, joyful and heart-wrenching... I read this a lot as a teen
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.
My Favourites:The AddictFor the year of the insaneProtestant EasteThe legend of the one eyed manConsorting with anglesImitations of drowning
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. "
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.
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.
So good. It definitely deserved the Pulitzer it won.
I opened my copy to find her NYT obit. Such a beautiful, gifted, young woman. So sad.
Anne Sexton is one of my favourite poets, yet I struggled with this book at points. That being said, overall, I very much enjoyed it. Some poems were incredible - Consorting with the Angels, Man and Wife, Menstruation at 40, Self in 1958, Suicide Note. The overuse and overreliance on Catholic/Biblical, Freudian and Greek metaphor is a symptom of its time and what was en vogue for poetry during its publication, but I nonetheless have had my fill of poetry couched in that language, so the less ent...
I am no more a womanthan Christ was a man Ooh, chew on that! That's the sorta enjambment your Momma warns you about. About once a year I read a poet that reminds me why I like reading poetry -- something that cuts through the horse manure platitudes that pass for poetry, and instead strike true. That spark of joy of discovering someone articulating feelings I did not have words for.And it sure is funny that I find joy and excitement in some Eeyore-ass depressing elegies. Dear friend,I will
I first heard of Anne Sexton after reading her poem "When Man Enters Woman." I checked out 'Live or Die' because that was the only poetry collection the library had available. I am very particular about poetry and if there are any hints of cliche writing, I quickly stop reading the collection. Anne Sexton's poems had none of those. Every poem was unique, absurd, and intriguing. The themes of 'Live or Die' are death (obviously), sex, femininity, and childbirth. My favorite poem was "Your Face On
"I say Live, Live, live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift." This is astonishing artistry and well deserving of the Pulitzer prize it earned. Some of the poems I had to read over again to understand but when I did I was amazed. Yes she speaks about her depression but she also speaks of love, childhood memories, family, and womanhood. I wish she and all writers who ended their lives (such as Hemingway) would be remembered more for their talent than how they died. Hers is a talent w...
3.75 - I don't deny that Sexton is a skilled poet, but rounded down because she's really not my style and a lot of it just didn't resonate with me. Although to be fair the fixation on death is super relatable, thanks Sexton. A lot of the "eh, can't sympathize that much" might also come from the fact that while I am totally aware you can like the writing of a person who's said/done terrible things without condoning those things or liking the person (hi, Neruda!), a poem like "Little Girl, My Stri...