Analysis Of Ann Sexton

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Analysis Of Ann Sexton’s Works Essay, Research Paper Peter. Schlong. Richard. Big Jim. Are any of these words more than mildly offensive? My contention is that, although they aren’t a part of my regular speech, they are only mildly unpleasant, if at all. Some forms of the word “penis” even evoke a sense of power. A man’s worth is sometimes said to be measured by the girth of his package. In relation to the previously started discussion, does the word “vagina” roll off one’s back as easily? The common answer would be no. Forms of the word “vagina” are even thought of as some of the most gut-wrenching curse words, especially to a man. With her poem, “In Celebration of My Uterus,” Ann Sexton is sure to raise a few eyebrows and evoke a few gasps. Those who

succomb to the cultural pressures of our paternal culture are not surprisingly outraged. To those of us who try to swim against the proverbial current, however, the frank manner in which Sexton presents a body part that we find so sacred is refreshing. When thinking of the uterus, the first association one makes is that which includes the menstrual cycle. This thought makes most people, men and women alike, uneasy. Men are taught to avoid menstrual blood, while women have aquired the automatic need to complain about it. The second association related to the uterus is that which ties it to child-bearing, which, although it is known as the miracle of life, is easily passed off as a curse in this age of condoms, the “morning after,” pill and abortion. The outrage that this poem

ellicits is the same type of outrage that accompanied the fight for womens’ voting rights and equality in the work place. Sexton presents the uterus as the foundation of humankind. The uterus is “the soil of the field” (line 18) that “cover(s and) does contain” (line 17) the “roots” (line 19) of the “commonwealth” (line 23). Not only does the uterus house the roots when conception occurs, but it also contains the shell of every seed that is sown. “There is enough here to please a nation”(line 21). If you count up the number of cycles awoman has in her lifetime and consider that as the number of eggs her body contains, the numbers are astounding. This is a constant that has nothing to do with class or race or religion. There are echoes of this gift in every

woman from the “one (who) is at the toll gate collecting” (line 31) to the “one (who) is straddling the cello in Russia” (line 33), and even more obviously in the “one (who) is wiping the ass of her child” (line 38). In the days of Ani Difranco and the “Vagina Monologues,” this poem seems rather censored, but falls into the same category of those brave women who use the shock value of their strength to make a political, and, perhaps, humanitarian statement. This poem ends with a list of occupations that women could be called to, some stereotypical, some not. Regardless of the occupation chosen, it is the right to choose and the strength that accompanies that right that is being celebrated, not simply but loudly. This poem creates outrage because it is rooted in

outrage. This outrage is disguised by all womens’ forced silence. Outrage in poetry is a healthy and change provoking element, as long as it is correctly aimed. So let us all not be afraid to “sing for the supper, for the kissing, for the correct yes” (lines 57-61).