Friday, November 11, 2005

Anne Sexton

Sexton’s birthday was on November 9th. I thought this was an interesting take on Sexton’s poetry, and it has some interesting thoughts on poetry in general. I liked very much Ryan’s “weightlessness” idea about poetry

Kay Ryan on Anne Sexton:

Anne Sexton is the author of ravishing poetry supercharged with primitive power, poetry that bangs big pots and pans, that is incautious, that runs headlong, and will stumble…. In Sexton’s hands, unevenness becomes a surprising source of power. Think about it; unevenness has a terrific alerting capacity. Careening along Sexton’s narrative line at breakneck speed, the reader never knows when she will drop into a pothole. The work is bumpy and immediate. Add to this that Sexton is always holding this special black ace: she’s been certified crazy and can crack up again right in front of you. Her power is part threat, which may be cheating, but cheating is fair in poetry.

…When she gets it right, I feel the weightlessness that means poetry to me. Suffering and torment are neither canceled nor explained; they are—strangely—elements, along with language and design, of a new configuration that we forever know as the beautiful.


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