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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
News & Announcements
About the Poets
Additional Reading
Anne Sexton 

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Sexton attended Garland Junior College and Boston University, where she studied under Robert Lowell. She worked for a year as a fashion model in Boston and later wrote her first poetry collection, To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), while recovering from a nervous breakdown. Writing a poem almost every day was successful therapy for her. From 1961 to 1963, Sexton was a scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study.

A confessional poet, Sexton acknowledged her debt to W. D. Snodgrass, whose collection of poetry, Heart's Needle (1959), influenced her profoundly. Her second collection, All My Pretty Ones (1962), includes a quote from a letter by Franz Kafka that expresses her own literary philosophy: "A book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us." Live or Die (1967), her third collection of poems, won a Pulitzer Prize. She committed suicide in 1974.

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Anne Sexton


Her Kind 

I have gone out, a possessed witch, 
haunting the black air, braver at night; 
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch 
over the plain houses, light by light: 
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. 
A woman like that is not a woman, quite. 
I have been her kind. 

I have found the warm caves in the woods, 
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, 
closets, silks, innumerable goods; 
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves: 
whining, rearranging the disaligned. 
A woman like that is misunderstood. 
I have been her kind. 

I have ridden in your cart, driver, 
waved my nude arms at villages going by, 
learning the last bright routes, survivor 
where your flames still bite my thigh 
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. 
A woman like that is not ashamed to die. 
I have been her kind.