Anne Sexton

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

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?
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Anna Who Was Mad by Anne Sexton )

Enter the verification code :

  • * Sunprincess * (11/25/2013 11:03:00 PM)

    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... (Report) Reply

  • L. K. Thayer (12/25/2007 5:07:00 AM)

    '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 (Report) Reply

  • Charmaine Lava (10/11/2007 3:14:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

New Poems

  1. Hey, Mister Sadducee!, Jovica Tasevski Eternijan
  2. Feast, Jovica Tasevski Eternijan
  3. Teeth, Phil Soar
  4. Life Withers Away..., sayantani choudhury
  5. Lynx, Phil Soar
  6. A Slumbering Tree, Akeem Alawoki
  7. A Mother, Phil Soar
  8. You, Phil Soar
  9. Tragedy And Terror, Ronell Warren Alman
  10. You Can Be A Success, Ronell Warren Alman

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Walter Scott

The moon's on the lake, and the mist's on the brae,
And the Clan has a name that is nameless by day;
Then gather, gather, gather Grigalach!
Gather, gather, gather Grigalach!

...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]