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Anne Sexton quotes (showing 31-60 of 177)

“Suicide is, after all, the opposite of the poem.”
Anne Sexton
“O starry night, This is how I want to die”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
“Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself,
Counting this row and that row of moccasins
Waiting on the silent shelf.”
Anne Sexton
“Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.”
Anne Sexton
“the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate…”
Anne Sexton
“Yet love enters my blood like an I.V.,
dripping in its little white moments.”
Anne Sexton
“God owns heaven but He craves the earth.”
Anne Sexton
“Take your foot out of the graveyard,
they are busy being dead.”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
“Now I am going back
And I have ripped my hand
From your hand as I said I would
And I have made it this far ...”
Anne Sexton
“The soul was not cured,
it was as full as a clothes closet
of dresses that did not fit.”
Anne Sexton
“And tonight our skin, our bones,
that have survived our fathers,
will meet, delicate in the hold,
fastened together in an intricate lock.
Then one of us will shout,
"My need is more desperate!" and
I will eat you slowly with kisses
even though the killer in you
has gotten out.”
Anne Sexton, Love Poems
“And we are magic talking to itself,
noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins
forgotten. Am I still lost?
Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself”
Anne Sexton, To Bedlam and Part Way Back
“Writers are such phonies: they sometimes have wise insights but they don't live by them at all. That's what writers are think they know something, but usually they are just messes.”
Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
“Fee-fi-fo-fum -
Now I'm borrowed.
Now I'm numb.”
Anne Sexton
“Suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.”
Anne Sexton
“The beautiful feeling after writing a poem is on the whole better even than after sex, and that's saying a lot.”
Anne Sexton
“I burn the way money burns.”
Anne Sexton
“Sometimes I fly like an eagle but with the wings of a wren”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
“I’ll put it out there: I am scarred by the nostalgic indicipherability of my own desires; I an engulfed by the intimidating unknown, pushed through darkness and dragged down by the irretrievable past sweetness of my memories.”
Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
“Talk to me about sadness. I talk about it too much in my own head but I never mind others talking about it either; I occasionally feel like I tremendously need others to talk about it as well.”
Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
“Poetry is my life, my postmark, my hands, my kitchen, my face.”
Anne Sexton
“But I can't. Need is not quite belief.”
Anne Sexton
“Even without wars, life is dangerous.”
Anne Sexton
tags: life
“Death, I need my little addiction to you. I need that tiny voice who, even as I rise from the sea, all woman, all there, says kill me, kill me.”
Anne Sexton
tags: death
“And if I tried
to give you something else,
something outside myself,
you would not know
that the worst of anyone
can be, finally,
an accident of hope”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
“And I. I too.
Quite collected at cocktail parties,
meanwhile in my head
I'm undergoing open-heart surgery.”
Anne Sexton, Transformations
“I am crazy as hell, but I know it. And knowing it is a kind of sanity that makes the sickness worse.”
Anne Sexton, Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
“When I'm writing, I know I'm doing the thing I was born to do.”
Anne Sexton
“Live or die, but don't poison everything...

Well, death's been here
for a long time --
it has a hell of a lot
to do with hell
and suspicion of the eye
and the religious objects
and how I mourned them
when they were made obscene
by my dwarf-heart's doodle.
The chief ingredient
is mutilation.
And mud, day after day,
mud like a ritual,
and the baby on the platter,
cooked but still human,
cooked also with little maggots,
sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother,
the damn bitch!

Even so,
I kept right on going on,
a sort of human statement,
lugging myself as if
I were a sawed-off body
in the trunk, the steamer trunk.
This became perjury of the soul.
It became an outright lie
and even though I dressed the body
it was still naked, still killed.
It was caught
in the first place at birth,
like a fish.
But I play it, dressed it up,
dressed it up like somebody's doll.

Is life something you play?
And all the time wanting to get rid of it?
And further, everyone yelling at you
to shut up. And no wonder!
People don't like to be told
that you're sick
and then be forced
to watch
down with the hammer.

Today life opened inside me like an egg
and there inside
after considerable digging
I found the answer.
What a bargain!
There was the sun,
her yolk moving feverishly,
tumbling her prize --
and you realize she does this daily!
I'd known she was a purifier
but I hadn't thought
she was solid,
hadn't known she was an answer.
God! It's a dream,
lovers sprouting in the yard
like celery stalks
and better,
a husband straight as a redwood,
two daughters, two sea urchings,
picking roses off my hackles.
If I'm on fire they dance around it
and cook marshmallows.
And if I'm ice
they simply skate on me
in little ballet costumes.

all along,
thinking I was a killer,
anointing myself daily
with my little poisons.
But no.
I'm an empress.
I wear an apron.
My typewriter writes.
It didn't break the way it warned.
Even crazy, I'm as nice
as a chocolate bar.
Even with the witches' gymnastics
they trust my incalculable city,
my corruptible bed.

O dearest three,
I make a soft reply.
The witch comes on
and you paint her pink.
I come with kisses in my hood
and the sun, the smart one,
rolling in my arms.
So I say Live
and turn my shadow three times round
to feed our puppies as they come,
the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown,
despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy!
Despite the pails of water that waited,
to drown them, to pull them down like stones,
they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue
and fumbling for the tiny tits.
Just last week, eight Dalmatians,
3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood
like a
birch tree.
I promise to love more if they come,
because in spite of cruelty
and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens,
I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann.
The poison just didn't take.
So I won't hang around in my hospital shift,
repeating The Black Mass and all of it.
I say Live, Live because of the sun,
the dream, the excitable gift.”
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems

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The Complete Poems The Complete Poems
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Transformations Transformations
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Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters Anne Sexton
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