Jesus SucklesMary, your great
white apples make me glad.
I feel your heart work its
machine and I doze like a fly.
I cough like a bird on its worm.
I'm a jelly-baby and you're my wife.
You're a rock and I the fringy algae.
You're a lily and I'm the bee that gets inside.
I close my eyes and suck you in like a fire.
I grow. I grow. I'm fattening out.
I'm a kid in a rowboat and you're the sea,
the salt, you're every fish of importance.
I am small
and you hold me.
You give me milk
and we are the same
and I am glad.
I am a truck.
I run everything.
I own you.
Compared to these and later pieces, such early work as "You, Doctor Martin" and "Double Image" begged the evening's big question: can Anne Sexton's work be considered purely for its poetic value, or does it's confessional content draw readers in, like lechers at a peep show, titillated by the "National Enquirer-esque" tell-all tale of an educated rich white woman?
Surely in poetic terms, her early work was technically superior. The later work is all idea and content, with a fat, sloppy style that big themes obscure. While not entirely unappealling, the later work is much more broad in style; metaphors tend to be more common; poetic structure, when used, is primative as nursery rhymes. Amazing what happens when poets are forced to make a living by teaching those snot-nosed Harvard snobs. Without enough time to perfect every line, Sexton's later work is far less electrically charged.
By the way, Anne Sexton can be seen on YouTube reading "Her Kind" which is purrty darn cool.
Tonight it's off to talk about Robert Burns. He and Anne have so much in common.