Discussion of Anne Sexton.

Essay by aliciazacCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2005

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At the heart of Anne Sexton's poetry is a search for identity, and her well-known infatuation with death, which is the cause of her rather notorious fame. Quite simply, Sexton's poetry is a poetry of life. Sometimes her works seem confessional, but to me it does not mean that her confessions necessarily describe experiences ridden with guilt or pain. Anne Sexton speaks longingly and lovingly of a world of health and childlike wholeness. This is a world toward which she struggles courageously and against overwhelming odds. Anne Sexton wrote several books of poetry, with Live or Die , which contains her poem "Wanting to Die", winning her the Pulitzer Prize. Her poem "Wanting to Die" expresses her true feeling in words on paper. It would appear that Sexton's life was perfect: a sudden fame in poetic circles, influential friends, her own music group, teaching offers, etc., but Sexton was fighting with her inner demons.

Sexton wanted her poems to affect people, as the situations she wrote about had affected her. Luckily, she wrote primarily as a mechanism to keep herself from the depths of mental illness and was not over influenced by critics who judged her personal work. Sexton used poetry as a way to not only discover herself, but the world around her. She put new spins on humanity and nature and discovered the great ways of life in each poem she wrote. From reading many biographies about Anne Sexton, it is easier to understand some of the meanings Anne is referring to.

Ill fortune and unpredictability were big factors in the writing style of Anne Sexton, but the biggest aspect of her writing was her depression. She was mentally ill while writing a number of her poems. Her poem entitled "Wanting To Die" is...