Friday, February 22, 2008

Poet #3: Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton was a cool lady. Her poems are a breath of fresh air to a feminist like myself. She took fairy tales - not the Disney versions, but the real dark stuff from Brothers Grimm - and related them to the 20th century.

"Now the runaways would run no more and never
again would their hair be tangled into diamonds,
never again their shoes worn down to a laugh,
never the bed falling down into purgatory
to let them climb in after
with their Lucifer kicking."

"She married the prince
and all went well
except for the fear -
the fear of sleep.

Briar Rose
was an insomniac...
She could not nap
or lie in sleep
without the court chemist
mixing her some knock-out drops
and never in the prince's presence.
If if is to come, she said,
sleep must take me unawares
while I am laughing or dancing
so that I do not know that brutal place
where I lie down with cattle prods,
the hole in my cheek open.
Further, I must not dream
for when I do I see the table set
and a faltering crone at my place,
her eyes burnt by cigarettes
as she eats betrayal like a slice of meat."


stu said...

It's certainly powerful. Good luck with the 'in the style of' attempts.

April Boland said...

Thanks! This will be much harder than the last two poets were.