Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

The Black Art


A woman who writes feels too much,
those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands
weren't enough; as if mourners and gossips
and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars.
A writer is essentially a spy.
Dear love, I am that girl.

A man who writes knows too much,
such spells and fetiches!
As if erections and congresses and products
weren't enough; as if machines and galleons
and wars were never enough.
With used furniture he makes a tree.
A writer is essentially a crook.
Dear love, you are that man.

Never loving ourselves,
hating even our shoes and our hats,
we love each other, precious, precious.
Our hands are light blue and gentle.
Our eyes are full of terrible confessions.
But when we marry,
the children leave in disgust.
There is too much food and no one left over
to eat up all the weird abundance.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

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Comments about this poem (The Black Art by Anne Sexton )

  • Veteran Poet - 1,832 Points john tiong chunghoo (9/12/2006 4:29:00 AM)

    dear anne,
    a fine write. it is so true. sometimes a lover wuld make us love ourselves more.
    so sad, children have to leave to find their own world. to seek other kinds of love. (Report) Reply

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