More about Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton Quotes
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It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.
I tell it stories now and then
and feed it images like honey.
I will not speculate today
with poems that think they're money.
I leave you, home,
when I'm ripped from the doorstep
by commerce or fate. Then I submit
to the awful subway of the world....
I'm an empress.
I wear an apron.
My typewriter writes.
It didn't break the way it warned.
Even crazy, I'm as nice
as a chocolate bar.
Take adultery or theft.
It is evil who dines on the soul,
stretching out its long bone tongue.
It is evil who tweezers my heart,
picking out its atomic worms.
Yes, I know.
Death sits with his key in my lock.
Not one day is taken for granted.
Even nursery rhymes have put me in hock.
Put your mouthful of words away and come with me to watch the lilies open in such a field, growing there like yachts, slowly steering their petals without nurses or clocks.
Today is made of yesterday, each time I steal
toward rites I do not know, waiting for the lost
ingredient, as if salt or money or even lust
would keep us calm and prove us whole at last.
Let the light be called Day so that men may grow corn or take busses.
True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can't. Need is not quite belief.
for these human remains!
They must have an escort!
They are classified!
is a bird full of mud,
I say aloud.
And death looks on with a casual eye
and scratches his anus.
I have forgiven all the old actors for dying.
A new one comes on with the same lines,
like large white growths, in his mouth.
The dancers come on from the wings,
My safe, safe psychosis is broken.
It was hard.
It was made of stone.
It covered my face like a mask.
But it has cracked.
vacuum up my stale hair, I'll
pay all my neighbors' bad debts, I'll
write a poem called Yellow and put
my lips down to drink it up....
For I could not read or speak and on the long nights I could not turn the moon off or count the lights of cars across the ceiling.
It is a dead heart.
It is inside of me.
It is a stranger
yet once it was agreeable,
opening and closing like a clam.
I love you. You are closest to my heart, closer than any other human being. You are my extension. You are my prayer. You are my belief in God. For better or worse you inherit me.
Cinderella and the prince
lived, they say, happily ever after,
like two dolls in a museum case
never bothered by diapers or dust,
never arguing over the timing of an egg,
never telling the same story twice....
Inside many of us
is a small old man
who wants to get out.
I sit at my desk
each night with no place to go,
opening the wrinkled maps of Milwaukee and Buffalo,
the whole U.S.,
its cemeteries, its arbitrary time zones,
through routes like small veins, capitals like small stones.
When the cow gives blood
and the Christ is born
we must all eat sacrifices.
We must all eat beautiful women.
the New Testament is very small.
Its mouth opens four times
as out-of-date as a prehistoric monster,
yet somehow man-made....
Daisies in water are the longest lasting
flower you can give to someone.
No one to hate except the slim fish of memory
that slides in and out of my brain.
Quote of the day
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
November 9, 1928
October 4, 1974
Anne Sexton was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die.
Live or Die (1966)
The Complete Poems
The awful rowing toward God
To Bedlam and part way back (1960)
All My Pretty Ones (1962)
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