She who is the reason that I write… (National Poetry Month Posts, Day 6)

Portrait of Anne Sexton

For my next National Poetry Month post, I want to give a big “shout out” to the poet who I credit with awakening within me the desire to write and the realization that I could…

Anne Sexton

Here is one of my favorite poems of hers (picking just one for me was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, BTW :)):

The Kiss


My mouth blooms like a cut.
I’ve been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool!

Before today my body was useless.
Now it’s tearing at its square corners.
It’s tearing old Mary’s garments off, knot by knot
and see — Now it’s shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She’s been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

© Anne Sexton

The last two lines gave me chills when I first read them and do to this day:

“Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.”

She unfortunately, in 1974 at the age of 46, lost her battle with mental illness and committed suicide. I can only imagine what else she would have given us had she lived!

Here is some more info about this most amazing of poets:

Her Wikipedia Entry.
Her poets.org biography page.
A list of her poems at The Poetry Foundation.

<:o)

Jamy

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