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The Death Notebooks

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Her seventh book and last book published in her lifetime.
Paperback, 56 pages
Published February 1st 1974 by Houghton Mifflin (P) (first published 1974)
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Aug 30, 2015 Drew rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was my gateway drug to the work of Anne Sexton, the book that led me to read all her poems, her chatty letters, her second-rate children's stories (co-authored by Maxine Kumin), her daughter's troubled memoir, Diane Middlebrook's great biography... Going back to this collection now, I'm fascinated anew by what amounts to an extended, irreverent, searching, heartfelt, jaded conversation with God. Sexton's Psalms alone could serve as the basis for a post-apocalyptic religion. I'm in her churc ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Tracy rated it it was amazing
"I have ink but no pen, still
I dream that I can piss in God's eye.
I dream I'm a boy with a zipper.
It's so practical, la de dah.
the trouble with being a woman, Skeezix,
is being a little girl in the first place.
Not all the books of the world will change that.
I have swallowed an orange, being woman.
You have swallowed a ruler, being a man.
Yet waiting to die we are the same thing."

from "Hurry Up It's Time"

Holy fuck, this book slays.
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it it was ok
Anne Sexton a brilliant controversial poet who took her own life at age 46, in 1974 even though she had religion is puzzling. Anyway suffering from bouts of mental breakdowns, and guilt from having committed adultery (with other women and therapists) she was in an enormous amount of pain.
The Death Notebooks, are beautifully written, however she already had a plan to commit suicide, as she was writing them and was preparing for the Day. Most of the poems in this book embody difficulty since she m
"it makes me laugh
to see woman in this condition
it makes me laugh for america and new york city
when you'r hands are cut off
and no one answers the phone"
death is to ann sexton, in this thin poetry volume, much larger and vaster and more frequent then the mere process of decaying and ceasing to be, to ann, a clinically depressed poet, a women deprived of her rights, the function of everyday living, the very stale motions and actions taken, are death it's self.
"once upon a time we were all born,
Mar 06, 2016 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2016, poetry
Depression is boring, I think,
and I would do better to make
some soup and light up the cave.
Feb 27, 2008 Elisabeth rated it did not like it
Boring, stale metaphors, lacks music or syntactical invention. Blah... it was hell to finish this book.
Jan 22, 2016 Kris rated it it was amazing
Harrowing, but much less depressing than I expected.

"Rejoice with the potato which is a sweet lover and made of angel mattresses."
Carrie McGath
Sep 25, 2015 Carrie McGath rated it it was amazing
Lush. One of Sexton's best and a collection I have read over and over again.
Aug 31, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
Difficult to grasp but easy to read. Vivid pictures that sometimes have discernible purpose. Often very sloppy, but usually still worth reading. Religion plays a huge part, but what part?

Sexton has a reputation for starting strong in her early work but not finishing well. There's an argument to be made for that, but even these weaknesses are impressive.
Aug 09, 2013 Katlyn rated it liked it
I... may need to re-read this one at a later date. I love so many of Sexton's poems and appreciate the frenzy here, but something was off. Maybe it bordered a little too much on absurdist, and the images were sometimes hard to visualize. There were some tired metaphors too.
Nov 23, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Perhaps this collection contains the Anne Sexton that is most famous, most adored.
Especially good is her signature juxtaposition of the exquisitely tortuous emotional with the soothingly familiar mundane.
My favourite was The Furies series.
Nov 10, 2011 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniel by: Meganne
Shelves: poetry
There were some great ones here, but like most anthologies, it was hit and miss. I do wish I could take a class and just read all of her works in order and discuss them with other appreciators of poetry.
Pt Bunch
Feb 20, 2013 Pt Bunch rated it really liked it
A powerful book. I'm not sure I would say I like it so much as I would say it revealed a dark and delirious way of seeing the world.
Nov 24, 2013 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Up and down, but mostly fantastic, and some of her best/most experimental work.
Misti Rainwater-Lites
Nov 11, 2012 Misti Rainwater-Lites rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women who travel light
This is my favorite Sexton. It's going with me.
Chloé marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2016
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Oct 15, 2016
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Oct 12, 2016
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Oct 09, 2016
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Oct 06, 2016
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Oct 01, 2016
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Oct 01, 2016
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Robbie Dee rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2016
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Diyar Nattiq rated it it was ok
Sep 23, 2016
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Sep 21, 2016
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Anne Sexton once told a journalist that her fans thought she got better, but actually, she just became a poet. These words are characteristic of a talented poet that received therapy for years, but committed suicide in spite of this. The poetry fed her art, but it also imprisoned her in a way.

Her parents didn’t expect much of her academically, and after completing her schooling at Rogers Hall, sh
More about Anne Sexton...

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“For God was as large as a sunlamp and laughed his heat at us and therefore we did not cringe at the death hole.” 4 likes
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