Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Poetry Friday: Rare Footage of Anne Sexton reciting her poem, Her Kind

I have recently discovered Anne Sexton's poems. No flowery stanzas here. She suffered mental breakdowns and started writing poetry on the recommendation of one of her doctors, who saw her creative side. Her poetry became part of her therapy.

Anne Sexton was a modern confessional poet and her work was often considered to be controversial. Her mentor was W.D. Snodgrass; one of her good friends, Sylvia Plath. She won many awards for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Live or Die (1967). Sadly, Anne's battle with depression ended in suicide.

If you have five minutes, listen to this rare footage of Anne Sexton reciting her poem, Her Kind. It is incredible. Though the story of her life, and some of the controversy in here are so very sad. The words to the poem are below this.

Her Kind
by Anne Sexton

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.
Click here to read the rest of the poem

Kelly over at Big A little a is hosting Poetry Friday today. Go on over and find some great poems to start off a relaxing weekend...

And in case you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, my Shout Out for All the Wonderful Authors Out There contest ends on Sunday, November 18th. Details here. The lovely prize is my handmade Writer's Muse Sock Monkey. (see picture on sidebar)


Liz in Ink said...

Oh my. Her eyes...

Sara said...

She fed off her own words...you can see it in her performance. Not that you can't do that, but sometimes, it eats YOU. Wow. Thank you so much for finding this for me. I might have to watch it again.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I've listened to this before. What a voice! I was big into Anne Sexton in college. I used to think that if I were casting a movie, I'd have Judy Davis play Sylvia Plath and Deborah Winger play Anne Sexton. Now, I'd cast Rachel Griffiths as Anne Sexton, but am not sure who'd play Plath (not Gwyneth Paltrow!).

Do you know Sexton's Transformations? That collection of poetry is my favorite.

jama said...

Wow, this was intense. I don't know much of her poetry, but she'd be well worth studying. Thanks for finding this!

Shannon (The Cole Mine) said...

Freaky!! This is so very sad. She was very talented. Thanks for sharing this.

Kelly Fineman said...

She once said that when she started writing, her friends thought she'd been cured, but all that had happened was that she'd found poetry (or words to that effect). I posted her Cinderella once upon a time, and keep meaning to read more of her.

Thanks for the link.

TadMack said...

Definitely Sara and Kelly: she merely switched addictions, you can see it in her eyes...

Being an aficionado of Plath and Woolf, I also like Anne Sexton, but there is a subtle difference to her ... must keep reading to discover what it is.

Anonymous said...

Writer Mamma,
I love your blog. I'm an admirer, not so secret- twice removed. If you haven't already, do read, "Sylvia's Death". It's a favorite.. .gets me in me troat evry time.
In admiration,