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Transcript of Anne Sexton
Period 3 Anne Sexton Who is She? * Anne Gray Harvey
* Newton, MA (raised in Weston)- November 4, 1928
* Parents: Ralph Harvey & Mary Gray Staples
-sexually abused by dad & domestically abused by mom
* Dad was an alcoholic
* Mom's literary aspirations, gone because of family problems
* Middle Class
* Close with great-aunt, Anna Dingley ("Nana")
-yet traumatized by her breakdowns & hospitalizations Childhood: A Troubled Time
* Behavioral problems in school-- parents didnt take her to suggested counseling
* Roger Hall (Boarding school in Lowell)
* 19 years old: eloped with Alfred "Kayo" Sexton
* Kayo's time in Korea-- modeling, had 2 daughters
* Depression: Nana died 1954
* Abused her daughters
* Many suicide attempts, institutionalized, therapy, began to write Life In & Out of Psychiatric Hospitals * Many suicide attempts
* Children sent to live with Alfred Sexton's parents
* Therapist encouraged her to write poetry
* Affair with therapist
* Abuse & arguments= divorce with Alfred
* All her writing was about her depression 3 Anne Sexton: A Poet * writing poetry= way to cope
* 1957: Poetry workshop at Boston Center for Adult Education
* Became close with: Sylvia Plath & Maxine Kumin
* First popular poems:
- "You, Doctor Martin"
-"Double Image" * 1967 Pulitzer Prize for "Live or Die" (1966) * Radcliffe Institute Fellowship (1961)
* The Levinson Prize (1962)
* Shelley Memorial Prize (1967)
* Many honorary degrees at prestigious universities Sexton's Poetry: A Biography * Tone of Sexton's poetry:
- passive *What is reflected in her poetry:
- her struggle with mental illness
- abuse from parents & husband
- having affairs
- feeling helpless "My analyst told me to write between our sessions about what I was feeling and thinking and dreaming" ~Anne Sexton Confessional Poetry "As It Was Written" Earth, earth,
riding your merry-go-round
right to the roots,
thickening the oceans like gravy,
festering in your caves,
you are becoming a latrine.
Your trees are twisted chairs.
Your flowers moan at their mirrors,
and cry for a sun that doesn't wear a mask.
Your clouds wear white,
trying to become nuns
and say novenas to the sky.
The sky is yellow with its jaundice,
and its veins spill into the rivers
where the fish kneel down
to swallow hair and goat's eyes.
All in all, I'd say,
the world is strangling.
And I, in my bed each night,
listen to my twenty shoes
converse about it.
And the moon,
under its dark hood,
falls out of the sky each night,
with its hungry red mouth
to suck at my scars. "Now" See. The lamp is adjusted. The ash tray
was carelessly broken by the maid.
Still, balloons saying love me, love me
float up over us on the ceiling.
Morning prayers were said as we sat knee to knee. Four kisses at that!
And why in hell should we mind the clock?
Turn me over from twelve to six. Then you taste the ocean. One day you huddled into a grief ball,
hurled into the corner like a schoolboy.
Oh come with your hammer, your leather
and your wheel. Come with your needle point.
Take my looking glass and my wounds
and undo them. Turn off the light and
then we are all over black paper
Now it is time to call attention
to our bed, a forest of skin
where seeds burst like bullets.
We are in our room. We are in
a shoe box. We are in a blood box.
We are delicately bruised, yet we
are not old and not stillborn.
* confessional poem
* tone: blunt, helpless * Reflecting her life
* Common theme: nature
* Declining states... (parallelism)
* Tone: helpless & passive Works Cited Anne Sexton
1928-1974 "Anne Sexton : 1928-1974." The Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
"Anne Sexton." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2013
Sexton, Anne. Anne Sexton: The Complete Poems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, n.d. Print.
Wagner-Martin, Linda. "Anne Sexton's Life." Anne Sexton's Life. American Council of Learned Societies, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2013. The End... After many traumas,
hospitalizations, and struggles with mental illness, Anne Sexton made her last suicide attempt and passed away in 1974 at the psychiatric ward she was living in.