By Anne Sexton
A revealing choice of letters from Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Anne Sexton
whereas confessional poet Anne Sexton incorporated information of her lifestyles and conflict with psychological disorder in her released paintings, her letters to kin, pals, and fellow poets offer an excellent extra intimate glimpse into her inner most global. chosen from hundreds of thousands of letters and edited by means of Linda grey Sexton, the poet’s daughter, and Lois Ames, considered one of her closest associates, this assortment exposes Sexton’s internal lifestyles from her boarding institution days via her years of becoming status and eventually to the months major as much as her suicide.
Correspondence with writers like W. D. Snodgrass, Robert Lowell, and will Swenson finds Sexton’s becoming self assurance in her id as a poet as she discusses her craft, guides, and instructing appointments. Her inner most letters chart her marriage to Alfred “Kayo” Sexton, from the giddy pleasure following their elopement to their eventual divorce; her grief over the demise of her mom and dad; her nice love for her daughters balanced together with her frustration with the never-ending projects of being a housewife; and her continual fight with melancholy.
Going past the angst and neuroses of her poetry, those letters painting the whole complexities of the girl at the back of the artwork: passionate, anguished, bold, and longing for connection.
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Extra resources for Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
The early, religiously informed version of "The Mills" did not fit the context that was evolving in the wake of World War II. Finding himself dislocated by a secular understanding that saw the world not as revelation but as mere process, Lowell made his poetry a means for locating the self within that process. In order to do this he developed a Januslike imaginative consciousness. By writing a series of lyrics in Life Studies which looked backward and forward, he created a continuum of retentional modification.
Things whirl in the chainsaw bite of whatever squares the universe by name and number. For the hundredth time, we slice the fog, and round the village with our headlights on the ground, like the first philosopher Thales who thought all things water, 46 "FALLEN FROM THE SYMBOLED WORLD" and fell in a well . . trying to find a car key. . It can't be here, and so it must be there behind the next crook in the road or growth of fog—there blinded by our feeble beams, a face, clock-white, still friendly to the earth.
In the second version of "The Mills," the reverie by Anne Kavanaugh which largely constitutes the poem is less the New Critics' static, synchronic artifact of irony and wit and more a diachronic movement of the mind of the persona through a series of re-presentations of her past. The poem's opening stanza begins with an objectivist description of Anne and her setting. Fourteen lines later, however, Anne addresses Harry and begins a meditative monologue, which runs the entire length of the poem.