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
Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and spent most of her life near Boston. In 1945, Sexton began attending a boarding school, Rogers Hall, in Lowell, Massachusetts. For a time as a young woman, she modeled at Boston's Hart Agency. She eloped in 1948 with Alfred Muller Sexton, known as 'Kayo.' Before their divorce in the early 1970s, ... more »
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Anne Sexton Poems
45 Mercy Street
In my dream, drilling into the marrow of my entire bone, my real dream,
Anger, as black as a hook, overtakes me. Each day,
Anna Who Was Mad
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?
Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty)
Consider a girl who keeps slipping off, arms limp as old carrots, into the hypnotist's trance,
Music Swims Back to Me
Wait Mister. Which way is home? They turned the light out and the dark is moving in the corner. There are no sign posts in this room,
Admonitions To A Special Person
Watch out for power, for its avalanche can bury you, snow, snow, snow, smothering your mountain.
It's in the heart of the grape where that smile lies. It's in the good-bye-bow in the hair where that smile lies.
Again and Again and Again
You said the anger would come back just as the love did. I have a black look I do not
You always read about it: the plumber with the twelve children who wins the Irish Sweepstakes. From toilets to riches.
Loving me with my shoes off means loving my long brown legs, sweet dears, as good as spoons; and my feet, those two children
Buying the Whore
You are the roast beef I have purchased and I stuff you with my very own onion. You are a boat I have rented by the hour
A Curse Against Elegies
Oh, love, why do we argue like this? I am tired of all your pious talk. Also, I am tired of all the dead. They refuse to listen,
A Story for Rose on the Midnight Flight ...
Until tonight they were separate specialties, different stories, the best of their own worst. Riding my warm cabin home, I remember Betsy's laughter; she laughed as you did, Rose, at the first
And One For My Dame
A born salesman, my father made all his dough by selling wool to Fieldcrest, Woolrich and Faribo.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
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.
I try the Back Bay.
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,
I know the cupboard of Spode
the boat of ice, solid silver,
where the ...