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80th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 80th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

It’s a new year, and if you haven’t heard there is a new feature on the blog this year . . . my first ever, poetry reading challenge.  Yup, that means everyone should be signing up because all you need to do is read 1 book of poetry, and why not start with a confessional poet, like Anne Sexton.

I’ll admit I chose a poem from this author because I’ll be reviewing a heartbreaking memoir from her daughter, Linda Gray Sexton, that deals with depression and death on Monday.

Wanting to Die

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.  
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don't always die,
but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue!--
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death's a sad Bone; bruised, you'd say,

and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions.  Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles.  It’s never too late to join the discussion.

  • So sad, given that we know how things ended for her. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the memoir.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Guest Post- Mary Lydon Simonsen- Author of The Perfect Bride for Mr Darcy

  • bookworm

    How moving and sad this poem is. I’ll also be reading her daughters memoir as part of the TLC Tour.
    ‘Even then I have nothing against life’– she conveys her hopelessness here, its heartbreaking to read.
    bookworm´s last blog post ..Short Story- Eva is Inside Her Cat

  • I’ve been re-reading Sexton too, of course, and struggling with S.A.D. so the line about “I know well the grass blades you mention” really hits home for me. It’s so evocative of that dulled state where you can picture what gives other people hope, but have none yourself.
    Jeanne´s last blog post ..Trivial Pursuit for Book-Lovers

    • The end of this poem is so powerful:

      “Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
      raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
      leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

      leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
      something unsaid, the phone off the hook
      and the love, whatever it was, an infection.”

      I am always left breathless by it.
      Serena´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday 114

  • I stopped after reading it halfway through. Why? Becos I couldn’t see further. This actually hits home. Killing oneself is not easy but thinking about it is, also a way of killing the self. The soul. A bleak poem. Yet it speaks to me about living. About turning your back on such thoughts and go one living.

    Serena, I too have started something similar. I will share one poem every Sunday. Please do check out what poem I share today by clicking on Sunday Salon: Sharing Poetry With You. You too are invited to convey your thoughts on the poem posted. In one word or many words…..your choice!
    gautami tripathy´s last blog post ..Sunday Salon- Sharing Poetry With You

  • Lu

    Thanks for posting this poem. I had been wanting to read some of her poems after reading Half in Love, which was amazing.
    Lu´s last blog post ..Comic-a-Week – Jan 2-8 – The Night Bookmobile