Selected Poems of Anne Sexton

( 2 )


This selection, which is drawn from Anne Sexton's ten published volumes of poems as well as from representative early and last work, is an ideal introduction to a great American poet.

With its simple, forceful imagery, Anne Sexton's poetry is not only remarkably powerful but also very accessible. The subjects she writes about--sex, mental breakdown, the search for spiritual meaning, the dark side of suburban life--speak to American readers today as eloquently as ...

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This selection, which is drawn from Anne Sexton's ten published volumes of poems as well as from representative early and last work, is an ideal introduction to a great American poet.

With its simple, forceful imagery, Anne Sexton's poetry is not only remarkably powerful but also very accessible. The subjects she writes about--sex, mental breakdown, the search for spiritual meaning, the dark side of suburban life--speak to American readers today as eloquently as they did during her lifetime.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The editors of this Selected Poems have carefully chipped away at the block of marble and revealed the true figure of Sexton's work: haunted, plaintive, raucous, as often exuberantly witty as it is afflicted."—J. D. McClatchy "This selected edition of Sexton's poems, arranged chronologically and enhanced by an insightful introduction, will make her work accessible not only to students but to readers everywhere."—Maxine Kumin
Library Journal
Sexton claimed that poetry kept her alive through periods of suicidal self-hatred, and indeed her poetry started as therapy, a means suggested by her psychiatrist of documenting the unspeakable. This volume contains selections, many of them familiar, from her eight books. Despite professional success, she continued to suffer, but her work does more than document the pain that finally led to alcohol addiction and suicide. Labeled confessional, she preferred to be called a storyteller, often adopting a persona: ``Like Oedipus I am losing my sight./Like Judas I have done my wrong.'' Much of the early poetry was workshop-influenced, but Sexton's music as well as her intensity and good ear ultimately come through. Rosaly De Maios Roffman, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Indiana
Internet Bookwatch
Selected Poems of Anne Sexton draws from poet Sexton's ten published works of poems as well as from her last pieces to provide a fine introduction and overview to her best works. The editors reveal a wide range of styles and themes and provide new readers with a definitive overview. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618057047
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST MARINE
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 614,675
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Sexton (1928-1974), the author of ten collections of poems, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1967.

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Table of Contents

The Balance Wheel (1958) 3
An Obsessive Combination of Ontological Inscape, Trickery and Love (1959) 4
My Friend, My Friend (1959) 5
You, Doctor Martin 9
Kind Sir: These Woods 11
Music Swims Back to Me 12
Elizabeth Gone 13
Some Foreign Letters 14
Said the Poet to the Analyst 17
Her Kind 18
Unknown Girl in the Maternity Ward 19
What's That 21
The Moss of His Skin 22
Ringing the Bells 23
Lullaby 24
The Lost Ingredient 25
For John, Who Begs Me Not to Enquire Further 26
The Double Image 28
The Division of Parts 35
The Truth the Dead Know 43
All My Pretty Ones 44
Young 46
Lament 47
To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Triumph 48
The Starry Night 49
Old Dwarf Heart 50
I Remember 51
The Operation 52
The Abortion 56
With Mercy for the Greedy 57
In the Deep Museum 59
The Fortress 61
Old 63
Housewife 64
Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound 65
For Eleanor Boylan Talking with God 68
The Black Art 69
An One for My Dame 73
Flee on Your Donkey 75
Somewhere in Africa 82
Consorting with Angels 83
The Legend of the One-Eyed Man 85
Protestant Easter 88
For the Year of the Insane 91
Walking in Paris 94
Menstruation at Forty 96
Wanting to Die 98
Little Girl, My Stringbean, My Lovely Woman 100
Your Face on the Dog's Neck 103
Self in 1958 106
In the Beach House 108
Cripples and Other Stories 109
Pain for a Daughter 112
The Addict 114
Live 116
The Breast 123
In Celebration of My Uterus 125
Loving the Killer 127
For My Lover, Returning to His Wife 130
It Is a Spring Afternoon 132
Just Once 134
You All Know the Story of the Other Woman 135
The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator 136
The Papa and Mama Dance 138
Us 140
Mr. Mine 141
Song for a Lady 142
From Eighteen Days Without You 143
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 149
Rapunzel 154
One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes 159
The Frog Prince 164
Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) 169
Mother and Daughter 177
Dreaming the Breasts 179
The Silence 180
From The Death of the Fathers 182
Angels of the Love Affair 187
Jesus Suckles 191
Jesus Awake 192
Jesus Asleep 193
Jesus Raises Up the Harlot 194
Jesus Cooks 195
Jesus Summons Forth 196
Jesus Dies 197
Jesus Unborn 199
The Author of the Jesus Papers Speaks 200
For Mr. Death Who Stands with His Door Open 203
The Death Baby 205
From The Furies 210
Clothes 216
From O Ye Tongues 218
Rowing 229
Riding the Elevator into the Sky 231
When Man Enters Woman 233
The Earth 234
Jesus, the Actor, Plays the Holy Ghost 236
Frenzy 238
The God-Monger 239
Small Wire 241
The Rowing Endeth 242
45 Mercy Street (1976)
The Money Swing 247
Food 248
Hornet 249
Star-Nosed Mole 250
Whale 251
Where It Was At Back Then 252
Divorce, Thy Name Is Woman 253
The Consecrating Mother 255
Words for Dr. Y. (1978) [s.n.]
[What has it come to, Dr. Y.] 257
[I called him Comfort] 259
[It's music you've never heard] 260
[I'm dreaming the My Lai soldier again] 261
January 24th 262
February 3rd 263
February 21st 264
In Excelsis 265
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sexton Is Alive on Every Page

    This is a must-have for lovers of poetry and lovers of language. Anne Sexton makes it look so easy, but don't be fooled. It is an intricate web she's weaving, mastering traditional forms, forging new ones, and challenging conventional topics (who is so bold to have titles like "Menstruation at Forty" and "The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator"?).

    It is her love of words and relentless excavation into her own personal pile of grievances which makes this collection so compelling and devastating and unforgettable. She also has a sly sense of humor which is a nice balance. It is almost like having Anne in the living room with you, reclining on the couch, legs outstretched, a cigarette in one hand, the book in the other, Anne shouting or whispering (depending on the poem) in that sensual irresistible voice of hers, and you just drinking it up like fine wine.

    Another fine treat is Anne's take on treasured fairy tales. Really the only regret about reading this book is that there isn't more to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 1999

    The Best 20th Century American Poet

    This book is absolultely astonishing. Before I read this book of poems, I can honestly say I'd never indulged in anything more beautiful in my life. These poems could make you happy, sad, angry, sexually awakened, motivated, go into a deep depression, or pray to God, just to ask how his day was.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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