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.
Similar in this library
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton is exactly what it claims to be. It is a massive and truly complete collection. This book is an absolute must have!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
.... Even at her most frankly distraught (or uncertain Eros, but I don’t make much of that, she was just a strange little lover and that’s fine), she was basically just winded from midcentury hyper-rationalism not finding divinity, which is what I think she really wanted. I don’t think Annie was ever really the sort of angry mob leader hypocrite that so often is our Radical. (And cf I’m a hypocrite, I want attention, and I’m going on the morning show!)
There’s a sort of person who listens to classical music, (on the car radio, say), not because they’re a scholar or even because they especially like how it sounds, but because it fills up the silence without frightening them. The classical forms of the mainstream Victorians and their predecessors can either make you very great-minded and even great-souled, or just a petty tyrant bent on controlling, locking down, censoring. This attitude, still with us today, was practically all there was in the post-Victorian ‘old wave’ of Sexton’s day, when the rebel cause of modern poetry had hardly made any progress since Whitman had barely left evidence of his own existence on the age’s Zeitgeist even after his explosion against the spirit of the poetry of the age, kings like Tennyson and even philosophers like Emerson.
This is still very much with us. Today you can choose to be different—and be hated for it. Today people talk about the Buddha with the same mindset in which they learned pre-Vatican II elementary school manners. (Guess what? Mommy knows you’re an empty container that just doesn’t know yet that it needs to get filled up with Dharma.) Of course it isn’t always so, but it’s common. And the rebel leaders who made the new age’s poetry were often, like Anne, very unstable, since they were, after all, explosions.
.... If you have turned up your noses at the least of these, post-Victorian critic, you have done it unto me. (Me, goosecap.)
.... “A cold sweat broke out on his upper lip/
for now he was wise.”
That’s just how it works, children. Wisdom is hard to bear. Wisdom is a fearful thing, “terrible as an army with banners”, /for it is Love/. The moiety is in the dictionary, but the greater portion is taken day by day like food, like daily servings of fruit and vegetables, along with the occasional burden of a less sleepy life.
Because little is it all worth, until you will suffer for doing well.
.... But it’s a bad poem, because it doesn’t encourage vegetarianism ;) /cha Ching/
That’s right I Am Socrates :D
—And Not Even The Census Taker Knows/
That That Is My Name
(And “Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty)” is a really fucking good poem. As I type this it’s like I am anxious because it’s getting dark and it’s not even dark and I don’t want to go out and I don’t even want to be inside; it started when I was inside, in safe happy place—so basically I’m Briar Rose. And for me this is the worst thing.
And “After Auschwitz” is a poem I remember from being in the library when I was running away from home and opening a book at random and getting that poem and being like, yup.
Actually that part of the experience was good though this was a long time ago before my withdrawal-phase.)
(A note: Hans Christian Andersen once called, I think, anyway, essential oils “bottled poetry”; that would make poetry verbal oils, if you like. The point is that we’re not necessarily allowed in the city of the philosophers and I try not to preen like they taught us in lit class, and I don’t always respond like I do here, either. The essence is feeling and I feel like I can move on to the next poem not if I can explain what she’s on about but if I have a sort of typical food-style review— liked; eh—felt. “Thanks Annie; now /I/ can’t self-regulate either!”)
(But I guess sometimes love means giving up your content.)
(Annie just wanted to have Sex with God.)
(Of course, if she could have known peace then maybe things could have been better for her, but in her time those cold intellectuals were the near enemies of peace, so that’s a little much to ask. At any rate going crazy doesn’t mean you have less value as a person, it just means that things don’t go quite as you plan.)
(She’s like Ellie Goulding and then she’s not. Anyway....)