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Elizabeth Gone Analysis

Author: poem of Anne Sexton Type: poem Views: 4

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You lay in the nest of your real death,

Beyond the print of my nervous fingers

Where they touched your moving head;

Your old skin puckering, your lungs' breath

Grown baby short as you looked up last

At my face swinging over the human bed,

And somewhere you cried, let me go let me go.

You lay in the crate of your last death,

But were not you, not finally you.

They have stuffed her cheeks, I said;

This clay hand, this mask of Elizabeth

Are not true. From within the satin

And the suede of this inhuman bed,

Something cried, let me go let me go.


They gave me your ash and bony shells,

Rattling like gourds in the cardboard urn,

Rattling like stones that their oven had blest.

I waited you in the cathedral of spells

And I waited you in the country of the living,

Still with the urn crooned to my breast,

When something cried, let me go let me go.

So I threw out your last bony shells

And heard me scream for the look of you,

Your apple face, the simple creche

Of your arms, the August smells

Of your skin. Then I sorted your clothes

And the loves you had left, Elizabeth,

Elizabeth, until you were gone.


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