Old Dwarf Heart
True. All too true. I have never been at home in
life. All my decay has taken place upon a child.
Henderson the Rain King, by Saul Bellow
When I lie down to love,
old dwarf heart shakes her head.
Like an imbecile she was bom old.,
Her eyes wobble as thirty-one thick folds
of skin open to glare at me on my flickering bed.
She knows the decay we're made of.
When hurt she is abrupt.
Now she is solid, like fat,
breathing in loops like a green hen
in the dust. But if I dream of loving, then
my dreams are of snarling strangers. She dreams that…
strange, strange, and corrupt.
Good God, the things she knows!
And worse, the sores she holds
in her hands, gathered in like a nest
from an abandoned field. At her best
she is all red muscle, humming in and out, cajoled
by time. Where I go, she goes.
Oh now I lay me down to love,
how awkwardly her arms undo,
bow patiently I untangle her wrists
like knots. Old ornament, old naked fist,
even if I put on seventy coats I could not cover you…
mother, father, I'm made of.
Anne Sexton's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Old Dwarf Heart by Anne Sexton )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland