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The Gold Key Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 6

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The speaker in this case

is a middle-aged witch, me-

tangled on my two great arms,

my face in a book

and my mouth wide,

ready to tell you a story or two.

I have come to remind you,

all of you:

Alice, Samuel, Kurt, Eleanor,

Jane, Brian, Maryel,

all of you draw near.


at fifty-six do you remember?

Do you remember when you

were read to as a child?


at twenty-two have you forgotten?

Forgotten the ten P.M. dreams

where the wicked king

went up in smoke?

Are you comatose?

Are you undersea?


my dears,

let me present to you this boy.

He is sixteen and he wants some answers.

He is each of us.

I mean you.

I mean me.

It is not enough to read Hesse

and drink clam chowder

we must have the answers.

The boy has found a gold key

and he is looking for what it will open.

This boy!

Upon finding a string

he would look for a harp.

Therefore he holds the key tightly.

Its secrets whimper

like a dog in heat.

He turns the key.


It opens this book of odd tales

which transform the Brothers Grimm.


As if an enlarged paper clip

could be a piece of sculpture.

(And it could.)

Submitted by Emily


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