Anne Sexton

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

'Daddy' Warbucks

Poem by Anne Sexton

What's missing is the eyeballs
in each of us, but it doesn't matter
because you've got the bucks, the bucks, the bucks.
You let me touch them, fondle the green faces
lick at their numbers and it lets you be
my 'Daddy! ' 'Daddy! ' and though I fought all alone
with molesters and crooks, I knew your money
would save me, your courage, your 'I've had
considerable experience as a soldier...
fighting to win millions for myself, it's true.
But I did win, ' and me praying for 'our men out there'
just made it okay to be an orphan whose blood was no one's,
whose curls were hung up on a wire machine and electrified,
while you built and unbuilt intrigues called nations,
and did in the bad ones, always, always,
and always came at my perils, the black Christs of childhood,
always came when my heart stood naked in the street
and they threw apples at it or twelve-day-old-dead-fish.

'Daddy! ' 'Daddy, ' we all won that war,
when you sang me the money songs
Annie, Annie you sang
and I knew you drove a pure gold car
and put diamonds in you coke
for the crunchy sound, the adorable sound
and the moon too was in your portfolio,
as well as the ocean with its sleepy dead.
And I was always brave, wasn't I?
I never bled?
I never saw a man expose himself.
No. No.
I never saw a drunkard in his blubber.
I never let lightning go in one car and out the other.
And all the men out there were never to come.
Never, like a deluge, to swim over my breasts
and lay their lamps in my insides.
No. No.
Just me and my 'Daddy'
and his tempestuous bucks
rolling in them like corn flakes
and only the bad ones died.

But I died yesterday,
'Daddy, ' I died,
swallowing the Nazi-Jap animal
and it won't get out
it keeps knocking at my eyes,
my big orphan eyes,
kicking! Until eyeballs pop out
and even my dog puts up his four feet
and lets go
of his military secret
with his big red tongue
flying up and down
like yours should have

as we board our velvet train.


Comments about 'Daddy' Warbucks by Anne Sexton

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (5/15/2020 11:37:00 PM)

    The style of story telling is innovative and well deserveed modern poem of the day.(Report)Reply

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  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (5/15/2020 4:31:00 PM)

    Interesting poem by this so very tragic poetess.
    With Anne Sexton you either take it or leave it. Read it or ignore it.
    I prefer to read it. Peter Gabriel wrote a song called Mercy Street based on Ann Sexton's 45 Mercy Street, it is like that poem, brilliant and captivating.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (5/15/2020 6:56:00 AM)

    " But i died yesterday" !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (5/15/2020 4:29:00 AM)

    and lets go
    of his military secret
    with his big red tongue
    flying up and down
    like yours should have.. a very fine poem indeed. tony(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Expiallidocious (5/15/2020 2:19:00 AM)

    Wow it's just sheer brilliance, is that what we humans are all about.?(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (5/15/2020 1:27:00 AM)

    there are many things such as struggle for surviving, money, nationality, war, poverty, fears and drunkard craziness for life in this poem; nationalism an true identity of birth originality after getting this need food, education, residual place to survive as human but this world is chained, ruled by some hypocrite capitalist organizations, war-monger imperialists........for their barbarism the general earth dwellers suffer the poverty since birth to death//// great poem(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (5/15/2020 12:49:00 AM)

    What's missing is the eyeballs
    in each of us, but it doesn't matter
    because you've got the bucks, the bucks, the bucks.......nice beginning. Lovely poem. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the modern poem of the poem of the day.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 7 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010