Anne Sexton

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

Music Swims Back To Me - Poem by Anne Sexton

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,
four ladies, over eighty,
in diapers every one of them.
La la la, Oh music swims back to me
and I can feel the tune they played
the night they left me
in this private institution on a hill.

Imagine it. A radio playing
and everyone here was crazy.
I liked it and danced in a circle.
Music pours over the sense
and in a funny way
music sees more than I.
I mean it remembers better;
remembers the first night here.
It was the strangled cold of November;
even the stars were strapped in the sky
and that moon too bright
forking through the bars to stick me
with a singing in the head.
I have forgotten all the rest.

They lock me in this chair at eight a.m.
and there are no signs to tell the way,
just the radio beating to itself
and the song that remembers
more than I. Oh, la la la,
this music swims back to me.
The night I came I danced a circle
and was not afraid.
Mister?


Comments about Music Swims Back To Me by Anne Sexton

  • Alisha Castle Alisha Castle (1/7/2016 1:56:00 AM)

    Good described poetry........ (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/4/2015 2:39:00 AM)

    Fantastic expression of human woes in an adverse situation and where radio music only soothing the mind. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani Brian Jani (6/19/2014 5:38:00 AM)

    Music sees more than i, thats the best phrase for me (Report) Reply

  • Ingeborg Von Finsterwalde Ingeborg Von Finsterwalde (3/1/2013 8:08:00 AM)

    She clearly describes being in a nursing homes section for the mentally unstable. Tied onto a chair! Four Ladies over eighty, sitting in diapers. She is in her own world dancing in a circle with the radio playing. If we are lucky, and few are, we can avoid this sad waiting room. Read her Biography and you understand where she is coming from… (Report) Reply

  • Ingeborg Von Finsterwalde Ingeborg Von Finsterwalde (3/1/2013 7:59:00 AM)

    She clearly describes being in a nursing homes section for the mentally unstable. Tied onto a chair! Four Ladies over eighty, sitting in diapers. She is in her own world dancing in a circle with the radio playing. If we are lucky, and few are, we can avoid this sad waiting room. (Report) Reply

  • Samantha Wallace Samantha Wallace (3/2/2012 1:28:00 AM)

    Really moving poem with great imagery. Very descriptive emotionally. Great poem! (Report) Reply

  • Joyce Yifith Joyce Yifith (3/1/2012 10:08:00 AM)

    Ahaha! Sexton rocks! (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 11, 2010


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