Anna Who Was Mad Poem by Anne Sexton

Anna Who Was Mad

Rating: 3.4


Anna who was mad,
I have a knife in my armpit.
When I stand on tiptoe I tap out messages.
Am I some sort of infection?
Did I make you go insane?
Did I make the sounds go sour?
Did I tell you to climb out the window?
Forgive. Forgive.
Say not I did.
Say not.
Say.

Speak Mary-words into our pillow.
Take me the gangling twelve-year-old
into your sunken lap.
Whisper like a buttercup.
Eat me. Eat me up like cream pudding.
Take me in.
Take me.
Take.

Give me a report on the condition of my soul.
Give me a complete statement of my actions.
Hand me a jack-in-the-pulpit and let me listen in.
Put me in the stirrups and bring a tour group through.
Number my sins on the grocery list and let me buy.
Did I make you go insane?
Did I turn up your earphone and let a siren drive through?
Did I open the door for the mustached psychiatrist
who dragged you out like a gold cart?
Did I make you go insane?
From the grave write me, Anna!
You are nothing but ashes but nevertheless
pick up the Parker Pen I gave you.
Write me.
Write.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Charmaine Lava 11 October 2007

Sexton's deliberate self-conversation is revolting and gorgeous at the same time, quite a feat. She is so deep inside herself and so much the star of the repulsive show-in stirrups with a 'tour group' going through. The poem is the instrument for resolution of her debate with herself. It seems as if she is inside a nightmare in which all of the parts are herself. Each of us has had some variation of that dream but she explicates it thoroughly.

1229 2 Reply
L. K. Thayer 25 December 2007

'number my sins on the grocery list and let me buy' - she is a high wire act, so dangerous, no net, I gasp as she dares us to watch

113 3 Reply
* Sunprincess * 25 November 2013

I can honestly say this is one of the most interesting poems I have ever read beautifully penned on a very sad human condition of the mentally ill.. so heart-breaking...

9 1 Reply
Brian Jani 05 May 2014

This poem wad written superbly

6 3 Reply
Brian Mawadri 27 February 2017

Love this poem, for it was well written......................

3 1 Reply
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0 0 Reply
jenny 14 March 2022

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0 0 Reply
Khairul Ahsan 28 September 2020

'From the grave write me, Anna! ' - A heart touching appeal!

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 28 September 2020

Give me a report on the condition of my soul. Give me a complete statement of my actions ........ pick up the Parker Pen I gave you. Write me. Write....this the sense of sanity where poem dug out the true self by the complete statement of action and writing; superbly penned this poem

0 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 28 September 2020

Brilliantly created on a saddest theme, insanity. OR is it about her alter ego, Anna instead of her own name Anne. I cannot say than Great Poetess Anne Sexton was truly great creating magnificent poems about the self. She committed suicide. Very tragic. She is a great Poetess. Congratulations to her family for having won this great Poem Hunter Prize The Modern Poem Of The Day! .

0 0 Reply
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Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton

Newton, Massachusetts
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