Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton Biography

an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967. Themes of her poetry include her suicidal tendencies, long battle against depression and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children.

Early Life and Family

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Anne Sexton Quotes

20 April 2016

“As it has been said: Love and a cough cannot be concealed. Even a small cough. Even a small love.”

20 April 2016

“Watch out for intellect, because it knows so much it knows nothing and leaves you hanging upside down, mouthing knowledge as your heart falls out of your mouth.”

20 April 2016

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”

20 April 2016

“Anne, I dont want to live. . . . Now listen, life is lovely, but I Cant Live It. I cant even explain. I know how silly it sounds . . . but if you knew how it Felt. To be alive, yes, alive, but not be able to live it. Ay thats the rub. I am like a stone that lives . . . locked outside of all thats real. . . . Anne, do you know of such things, can you hear???? I wish, or think I wish, that I were dying of something for then I could be brave, but to be not dying, and yet . . . and yet to [be] behind a wall, watching everyone fit in where I cant, to talk behind a gray foggy wall, to live but to not reach or to reach wrong . . . to do it all wrong . . . believe me, (can you?) . . . whats wrong. I want to belong. Im like a jew who ends up in the wrong country. Im not a part. Im not a member. Im frozen.”

20 April 2016

“As for me, I am a watercolor. I wash off.”

Anne Sexton Comments

Kaye Rose 07 May 2012

Anne Sexton is my absolute favorite poet. She wasn't ever afraid to tackle a subject and I admire that; it's a mystery what might have come from her had she not committed suicide. We lost some great work most likely due to that.

80 58 Reply
Kevin Patrick 28 November 2012

A fabulous poet, her use of language is commanding, Anne was a modern poet who did not use any of the clichés of pretentious Victorianism, her subjects are tough and emotional, she talks about the dark side because she lived in the dark side and you will never get a better depiction of depression then from this woman.

77 51 Reply
Amy Marie 19 December 2010

I love her style. I recently made her one of my three favorite poets :)

63 64 Reply
Cherie Chetyrbok 21 February 2012

Excellent poet. One of my All-Time favorites.

71 55 Reply
fleur de lys 25 July 2009

She gets on my nerves too but I can't think of title 'The Awful Rowing Towards God' without smiling.

35 65 Reply
Kaya 11 May 2022

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Kumarmani Mahakul 01 November 2020

Anne Sexton who is ranked #50 on top 500 poets on date 01 November 2020 is a great poetess who is remembered by the readers and visitors. She is one of the poetic victors. She has created a new history in penning beautiful poems of philosophic importance and values. We read her poems with greater joy and feel the high essence of her each poem.

1 0 Reply
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Blandino inominado mgent 11 August 2019

she's a queen of goth apparitions, empathizing with my wild sensibility, I love her. don't ytry to understand, that nexus is beyond the flux of our disentangled conscience stream ...

2 0 Reply
Charlie puth 09 October 2018

Today on things that didnt happen. Marvin is gay

0 7 Reply

The Best Poem Of Anne Sexton

45 Mercy Street

In my dream,
drilling into the marrow
of my entire bone,
my real dream,
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill
searching for a street sign -
namely MERCY STREET.
Not there.

I try the Back Bay.
Not there.
Not there.
And yet I know the number.
45 Mercy Street.
I know the stained-glass window
of the foyer,
the three flights of the house
with its parquet floors.
I know the furniture and
mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,
the servants.
I know the cupboard of Spode
the boat of ice, solid silver,
where the butter sits in neat squares
like strange giant's teeth
on the big mahogany table.
I know it well.
Not there.

Where did you go?
45 Mercy Street,
with great-grandmother
kneeling in her whale-bone corset
and praying gently but fiercely
to the wash basin,
at five A.M.
at noon
dozing in her wiggy rocker,
grandfather taking a nap in the pantry,
grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid,
and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower
on her forehead to cover the curl
of when she was good and when she was...
And where she was begat
and in a generation
the third she will beget,
me,
with the stranger's seed blooming
into the flower called Horrid.

I walk in a yellow dress
and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,
enough pills, my wallet, my keys,
and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?
I walk. I walk.
I hold matches at street signs
for it is dark,
as dark as the leathery dead
and I have lost my green Ford,
my house in the suburbs,
two little kids
sucked up like pollen by the bee in me
and a husband
who has wiped off his eyes
in order not to see my inside out
and I am walking and looking
and this is no dream
just my oily life
where the people are alibis
and the street is unfindable for an
entire lifetime.

Pull the shades down -
I don't care!
Bolt the door, mercy,
erase the number,
rip down the street sign,
what can it matter,
what can it matter to this cheapskate
who wants to own the past
that went out on a dead ship
and left me only with paper?

Not there.

I open my pocketbook,
as women do,
and fish swim back and forth
between the dollars and the lipstick.
I pick them out,
one by one
and throw them at the street signs,
and shoot my pocketbook
into the Charles River.
Next I pull the dream off
and slam into the cement wall
of the clumsy calendar
I live in,
my life,
and its hauled up
notebooks.

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