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Suicide Note Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 13

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"You speak to me of narcissism but I reply that it is

a matter of my life" - Artaud

"At this time let me somehow bequeath all the leftovers

to my daughters and their daughters" - Anonymous


despite the worms talking to

the mare's hoof in the field;


despite the season of young girls

dropping their blood;

better somehow

to drop myself quickly

into an old room.

Better (someone said)

not to be born

and far better

not to be born twice

at thirteen

where the boardinghouse,

each year a bedroom,

caught fire.

Dear friend,

I will have to sink with hundreds of others

on a dumbwaiter into hell.

I will be a light thing.

I will enter death

like someone's lost optical lens.

Life is half enlarged.

The fish and owls are fierce today.

Life tilts backward and forward.

Even the wasps cannot find my eyes.


eyes that were immediate once.

Eyes that have been truly awake,

eyes that told the whole story—

poor dumb animals.

Eyes that were pierced,

little nail heads,

light blue gunshots.

And once with

a mouth like a cup,

clay colored or blood colored,

open like the breakwater

for the lost ocean

and open like the noose

for the first head.

Once upon a time

my hunger was for Jesus.

O my hunger! My hunger!

Before he grew old

he rode calmly into Jerusalem

in search of death.

This time

I certainly

do not ask for understanding

and yet I hope everyone else

will turn their heads when an unrehearsed fish jumps

on the surface of Echo Lake;

when moonlight,

its bass note turned up loud,

hurts some building in Boston,

when the truly beautiful lie together.

I think of this, surely,

and would think of it far longer

if I were not… if I were not

at that old fire.

I could admit

that I am only a coward

crying me me me

and not mention the little gnats, the moths,

forced by circumstance

to suck on the electric bulb.

But surely you know that everyone has a death,

his own death,

waiting for him.

So I will go now

without old age or disease,

wildly but accurately,

knowing my best route,

carried by that toy donkey I rode all these years,

never asking, “Where are we going?”

We were riding (if I'd only known)

to this.

Dear friend,

please do not think

that I visualize guitars playing

or my father arching his bone.

I do not even expect my mother's mouth.

I know that I have died before—

once in November, once in June.

How strange to choose June again,

so concrete with its green breasts and bellies.

Of course guitars will not play!

The snakes will certainly not notice.

New York City will not mind.

At night the bats will beat on the trees,

knowing it all,

seeing what they sensed all day.


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