Monthly Archives: November 2014

Anne Sexton: One of a Kind Intensity

Anne Sexton, both renowned and controversial, is particularly famous for her powerful poems about anguish, the anguish of depression and mental illness or psychological instability. But she also wrote brilliant poems of a more upbeat and universal nature (not to say that anguish is not universal! I for one write perhaps “too much” about that too), of which the poem below is an example. We remember her here for her birthday, November 9 (ok, belated, but at this point I don’t think she’d mind).

image

In Celebration of My Uterus

By ANNE SEXTON

Everyone in me is a bird.
I am beating all my wings.
They wanted to cut you out
but they will not.
They said you were immeasurably empty
but you are not.
They said you were sick unto dying
but they were wrong.
You are singing like a school girl.
You are not torn.

Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
and of the soul of the woman I am
and of the central creature and its delight
I sing for you. I dare to live.
Hello, spirit. Hello, cup.
Fasten, cover. Cover that does contain.
Hello to the soil of the fields.
Welcome, roots.

Each cell has a life.
There is enough here to please a nation.
It is enough that the populace own these goods.
Any person, any commonwealth would say of it,
“It is good this year that we may plant again
and think forward to a harvest.
A blight had been forecast and has been cast out.”
Many women are singing together of this:
one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine,
one is at the aquarium tending a seal,
one is dull at the wheel of her Ford,
one is at the toll gate collecting,
one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona,
one is straddling a cello in Russia,
one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt,
one is painting her bedroom walls moon color,
one is dying but remembering a breakfast,
one is stretching on her mat in Thailand,
one is wiping the ass of her child,
one is staring out the window of a train
in the middle of Wyoming and one is
anywhere and some are everywhere and all
seem to be singing, although some can not
sing a note.

Sweet weight,
in celebration of the woman I am
let me carry a ten-foot scarf,
let me drum for the nineteen-year-olds,
let me carry bowls for the offering
(if that is my part).
Let me study the cardiovascular tissue,
let me examine the angular distance of meteors,
let me suck on the stems of flowers
(if that is my part).
Let me make certain tribal figures
(if that is my part).
For this thing the body needs
let me sing
for the supper,
for the kissing,
for the correct
yes.

Anne Sexton, “In Celebration of My Uterus” from The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981). Copyright © 1981 by Linda Gray Sexton and Loring Conant, Jr.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry, Poets, Remembering Poets, women poets

New Poem “Agape” Published on Atavic Poetry!

Here’s the link to my poem “Agape” on the wonderful site, Atavic Poetry. Please check it out!

Also, just a short time ago Atavic published another poem, “Mallwaves” you can read here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry