With Mercy for the Greedy
for my friend Ruth, who urges me to make an appointment for the Sacrament of Confesson
Concerning your letter in which you ask
me to call a priest and in which you ask
me to wear The Cross that you enclose;
your own cross,
your dog-bitten cross,
no larger than a thumb,
small and wooden, no thorns, this rose -
I pray to its shadow,
that gray place
where it lies on your letter… deep, deep.
I detest my sins and I try to believe
in The Cross. I touch its tender hips, its dark jawed face,
its solid neck, its brown sleep.
True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can't. Need is not quite belief.
All morning long
I have worn
your cross, hung with package string around my throat.
It tapped me lightly as a child's heart might,
tapping secondhand, softly waiting to be born.
Ruth, I cherish the letter you wrote.
My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
for the greedy,
they are the tongue's wrangle,
the world's pottage, the rat's star.
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 (With Mercy for the Greedy by Anne Sexton )
Did you read them?
- From the Lives of My Friends, Michael Dickman
- WHENEVER A LIFE IS TAKEN, Ali Faisal
- VALUE OF LIFE, Ali Faisal
- For Some Slight I Can't Quite Recall, Ross Gay
- Surf song, Roann Mendriq
- Midnight surf, Roann Mendriq
- iPhone6+ 오피뷰 ⓐ광명오피녀 ⓑ광교오피 대란∠OＰGＡNＤA/ＣOM∠, sibngnu5 sibngnu5
- AOA▷오피뷰◁모든 광명오피 광교오피걸의 모든것 OＰGＡNＤA/ＣOM, sibngnu5 sibngnu5
- L.Messi 오피뷰 광명오피 KTwiz 광교오피 OＰGＡNＤA/ＣOM .., sibngnu5 sibngnu5
- To My Best Friend's Big Sister, Ross Gay
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Samra, Said Akl
- Alone, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Tiger, William Blake
- Love's Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley
- Bright Star, John Keats
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Alfred Lord Tennyson
(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1886 - 1967)