The Gold Key
The speaker in this case
is a middle-aged witch, me-
tangled on my two great arms,
my face in a book
and my mouth wide,
ready to tell you a story or two.
I have come to remind you,
all of you:
Alice, Samuel, Kurt, Eleanor,
Jane, Brian, Maryel,
all of you draw near.
at fifty-six do you remember?
Do you remember when you
were read to as a child?
at twenty-two have you forgotten?
Forgotten the ten P.M. dreams
where the wicked king
went up in smoke?
Are you comatose?
Are you undersea?
let me present to you this boy.
He is sixteen and he wants some answers.
He is each of us.
I mean you.
I mean me.
It is not enough to read Hesse
and drink clam chowder
we must have the answers.
The boy has found a gold key
and he is looking for what it will open.
Upon finding a string
he would look for a harp.
Therefore he holds the key tightly.
Its secrets whimper
like a dog in heat.
He turns the key.
It opens this book of odd tales
which transform the Brothers Grimm.
As if an enlarged paper clip
could be a piece of sculpture.
(And it could.)
Anne Sexton's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Gold Key by Anne Sexton )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
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