Anne Sexton Essay Research Paper All Her

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Anne Sexton Essay, Research Paper All Her Pretty Ones, and then some.. An interpretation of the poetry of Anne Sexton Anne Gray Harvey was born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1928. After attending one year of college, she eloped and married Alfred “Kayo” Sexton at the age of nineteen. They had their first daughter in 1953, and shortly after, in 1954, Anne Sexton was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Sexton was soon admitted to Westwood Lodge, a neuropsychiatric hospital. One year later, after the birth of her second daughter, she suffered a second breakdown and returned to the hospital. Her children then went to live with her husband’s parents. That same year, on her birthday, she made her first attempt at suicide. Shortly after her first attempt, her doctor

encouraged her to pursue her interest in poetry as a way to open up and let many of her feelings reach the surface. It was that talent, her passion for writing that gave Sexton the courage to live with her depression for as long as she did. Nevertheless, in 1974 at the age of 46, Anne Harvey Sexton gave up, ending her successful writing career and losing her lifelong fight against depression. Because of her constant feelings of unhappiness and misery, Sexton’s writing revolved around death, dying, and suicide. Despite such dreary subjects, she was able to write quite a few effective poems throughout her life. In order to analyze the most important elements of poetry in Sexton’s writing, I chose four poems from The Complete Poems: “The Starry Night”, “Her Kind”,

“Suicide Note”, and “Wanting to Die”. The most important elements of poetry used by Sexton are her repetition of “I” and her many uses of simile and metaphor. Although she never neglects to incorporate other important elements such as symbolism, irony and rhyme, the two above stand out above the rest and help develop the true meaning of the poetry of Anne Sexton. “The Starry Night” is basically a poem describing and relating her own life to the famous painting, Starry Night, by Vincent van Goh. She believes that peace exists in that painting and that dying in that state of mind is the way that she wants to go. Using the elements of poetry, she expresses that basic theme of dying and being in a better place. Sexton magnificently uses elements such as voice,

diction, figure of speech, and symbolism to create a dramatic view of how she wants to die and how she sees her much anticipated death as hopefully being peaceful and solemn. Figurative language, as opposed to literal language, is used in “The Starry Night.” The author purposely hints around about what she is trying to say. She also uses simile in the poem; for example, ” one black-haired tree slips up like a drowned woman into the hot sky” and ” to push children, like a god, from its eye.” These phrases are used to signify what these objects look like, not to describe exactly what they are. Personification is also used in this poem. Words such as “boil” are used when describing the sky and “bulges” when talking about the moon. These inanimate objects are

given lifelike characteristics because they further explain how real this scene truly is. She is depicting a scene of night, of peacefulness and serenity. Therefore, the poet uses certain words and phrases to make the effectiveness of the poem more concrete. Sexton’s desire to die is easier to understand when she uses figurative comparisons because she uses these to create universal feelings in her writing. Symbolism is one of the most important elements of “The Starry Night”. In Sexton’s poem, she uses many symbols to help describe her feelings. The “black-haired tree” represents her because it is the only object noticed in the town, or rather, in society. She is visualizing the town and seeing herself there, being alone and gazing out into the sky. She also uses