Professor: Arnie Kantrowitz

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Professor: Arnie Kantrowitz Student: Dolores Tobias ENL 350 Paper #2 April 28, 2004 Anne Sexton and John Milton are the poets that I have chose. They have the power to lure us into their worlds with just reading their picture- like words. Both of them open our minds for our imagination to see what they see in their poetry. For example in Anne Sexton's poem "The Truth the Dead Know" it shows psychological profile of her parents death. Anne Sexton is born on November 9, 1928, and she died the 4th of October in 1974 Anne Sexton. Gray Harvey poet and playwright, the daughter of Ralph Harvey, a successful woolen manufacturer, and Mary Gray Staples. Anne was raised in comfortable middle-class circumstances in Weston, Massachusetts, and at the summer compound on Squirrel Island in Maine, but she was never at ease with the life prescribed for her. Her father was an alcoholic, and her mother's literary aspirations had been frustrated by family life. Anne took refuge from her dysfunctional family in her close relationship with "Nana" (Anna Dingley), her maiden great-aunt who lived with the family during Anne's adolescence. Sexton's biographer, Diane Middle brook, recounts possible sexual abuse by Anne's parents during her childhood; at the very least, Anne felt that her parents were hostile to her and feared that they might abandon her.


Divorced and living by herself, Sexton was lonely and seemed to be searching for compassion through love affairs. She continued to be in psychotherapy, from which she evidently gained little solace. On October 4th 1974, after having lunched with Maxine Kumin, Sexton asphyxiated herself with carbon monoxide in her garage in Boston. Other posthumous collections of her poems include 45 Mercy Street (1976) and Words for Dr. Y: Uncollected Poems with Three Stories (1978), both edited by Linda Gray Sexton. The publication of Sexton's work culminated in The Complete Poems in 1981. Sexton also wrote important essays about poetry and made insightful comments in her many interviews. She understood the fictive impulse, the way the writer uses both fact and the imagination in creation; and, like Wallace Stevens, she saw her art as the "supreme fiction," the writer's finest accomplishment. Much of what Sexton wrote was in no way autobiographical, despite the sense of reality it had, and thus criticisms of her writing as "confessional" are misleading. She used her knowledge of the human condition--often painful, but Sometimes joyous--to create poems readers could share. Her incisive metaphors, the unexpected rhythms of her verse, and her ability to grasp a range of meaning in precise words have secured Sexton's good reputation.


Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime 'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time; And like an Engin mov'd with wheel and waight, His principles being ceast, he ended strait, Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death, And too much breathing put him out of breath, Nor were it contradiction to affirm Too long vacation hastned on his term. Meerly to drive the time away he sickn'd, Fainted, and died, nor would with Ale be quickn'd; Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd, If I may not carry, sure Ile ne're be fetch'd, But vow though the cross Doctors all stood hearers, For one Carrier put down to make six bearers. Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right, He di'd for heavines that his Cart went light, His leasure told him that his time was com, And lack of load, made his life burdensom, That even to his last breath (ther be that say't) As he were prest to death, he cry'd more waight; But had his doings lasted as they were, He had bin an immortall Carrier. Obedient to the Moon he spent his date In cours reciprocal, and had his fate Linkt to the mutual flowing of the Seas, Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase: His Letters are deliver'd all and gon, Onely remains this superscription.

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