Anne Sexton

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

Courage

Poem by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

Later,
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
comver your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

Later,
if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

Later,
when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

Topic(s) of this poem: courage


Comments about Courage by Anne Sexton

  • Exasperation (5/15/2020 10:07:00 AM)

    Those carpet slippers have been worn from what seems eternity.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • ..... (5/11/2020 2:31:00 PM)

    amazing poem, i really liked it.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (3/29/2020 5:14:00 PM)

    Excellent poem. This life is full of risk and danger at every step. Courage is shown in crossing over each hurdel and each barrier to keep on moving with life.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (3/18/2020 7:37:00 AM)

    This is a beautiful poem on courage by Anne Sexton. It is justified for being chosen as the classic poem of the POD.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Rini ShibuRini Shibu (2/9/2020 9:54:00 AM)

    Excellent poem..thanks for sharing(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • uhhhhhhh (10/3/2019 8:38:00 AM)

    this woman sexually abused her child.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    13 person did not like.
  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (8/31/2019 1:09:00 PM)

    A insightful and beautiful work of art........................................................................................................................(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (8/31/2019 1:08:00 PM)

    A beautiful work of art.......................................................................................................................................................................(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • why u askin (5/13/2019 1:13:00 PM)

    i loved this poem it was very deep and gave us meaning, good job.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • James MclainJames Mclain (3/22/2019 11:07:00 PM)

    Her poem's lead back to Anne.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Castellenas JohnCastellenas John (3/14/2019 5:35:00 PM)

    A poet of legend. A amazing poem.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Thiccc Piggy Nigga (2/18/2019 12:10:00 PM)

    YALL SOME SAD IGNORANT YALL GOTTA BE CRIP BANGING LIKE SOME REEL AMERICAN
    14 YUNG CRIP(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    18 person did not like.
  • Debby Bka Sassy PizzoDebby Bka Sassy Pizzo (1/22/2019 5:02:00 AM)

    when death opens the back door
    you'll put on your carpet slippers
    and stride out......I really liked this line. Beautifully expressed!(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Tamara Beryl LathamTamara Beryl Latham (12/16/2018 8:26:00 AM)

    A great message in poetic form. Enjoyed the poem and keep writing. : -)(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • person (11/15/2018 4:39:00 PM)

    that poem was very good, It relalated to different situations that is dramatic or important in someones life and them over coming these challenges with courage(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Rocco Lucci (11/5/2018 12:41:00 PM)

    This poem is so bad it is worse than the joker(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    12 person did not like.
  • Eliza Marie (10/23/2018 8:23:00 PM)

    I love this poem, I believe this has a big impact on what she saying towards everyone who goes through something that they're scared of, but yet they fight through it with courage.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Robin (10/23/2018 5:52:00 PM)

    This is a beautiful poem.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Bella (9/11/2018 7:29:00 AM)

    IT SUCKSSS VERY VERY MUCH!Already ReportedReply

    5 person liked.
    27 person did not like.
  • dodgey fella (2/6/2018 10:15:00 PM)

    Dank AF


    YOBBO IS JOMNO(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
Read all 21 comments »

Courage Score Card

User Rating:
3,0 / 5 (26 votes)21



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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, January 3, 2015


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