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The Break Away Analysis



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

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Your daisies have come


on the day of my divorce:


the courtroom a cement box,


a gas chamber for the infectious Jew in me


and a perhaps land, a possibly promised land


for the Jew in me,


but still a betrayal room for the till-death-do-usó


and yet a death, as in the unlocking of scissors


that makes the now separate parts useless,


even to cut each other up as we did yearly


under the crayoned-in sun.


The courtroom keeps squashing our lives as they break


into two cans ready for recycling,


flattened tin humans


and a tin law,


even for my twenty-five years of hanging on


by my teeth as I once saw at Ringling Brothers.


The gray room:


Judge, lawyer, witness


and me and invisible Skeezix,


and all the other torn


enduring the bewilderments


of their division.




Your daisies have come


on the day of my divorce.


They arrive like round yellow fish,


sucking with love at the coral of our love.


Yet they wait,


in their short time,


like little utero half-borns,


half killed, thin and bone soft.


They breathe the air that stands


for twenty-five illicit days,


the sun crawling inside the sheets,


the moon spinning like a tornado


in the washbowl,


and we orchestrated them both,


calling ourselves TWO CAMP DIRECTORS.


There was a song, our song on your cassette,


that played over and over


and baptised the prodigals.


It spoke the unspeakable,


as the rain will on an attic roof,


letting the animal join its soul


as we kneeled before a miracle--


forgetting its knife.




The daisies confer


in the old-married kitchen


papered with blue and green chefs


who call out pies, cookies, yummy,


at the charcoal and cigarette smoke


they wear like a yellowy salve.


The daisies absorb it all--


the twenty-five-year-old sanctioned love


(If one could call such handfuls of fists


and immobile arms that!)


and on this day my world rips itself up


while the country unfastens along


with its perjuring king and his court.


It unfastens into an abortion of belief,


as in me--


the legal rift--


as on might do with the daisies


but does not


for they stand for a love


undergoihng open heart surgery


that might take


if one prayed tough enough.


And yet I demand,


even in prayer,


that I am not a thief,


a mugger of need,


and that your heart survive


on its own,


belonging only to itself,


whole, entirely whole,


and workable


in its dark cavern under your ribs.




I pray it will know truth,


if truth catches in its cup


and yet I pray, as a child would,


that the surgery take.




I dream it is taking.


Next I dream the love is swallowing itself.


Next I dream the love is made of glass,


glass coming through the telephone


that is breaking slowly,


day by day, into my ear.


Next I dream that I put on the love


like a lifejacket and we float,


jacket and I,


we bounce on that priest-blue.


We are as light as a cat's ear


and it is safe,


safe far too long!


And I awaken quickly and go to the opposite window


and peer down at the moon in the pond


and know that beauty has walked over my head,


into this bedroom and out,


flowing out through the window screen,


dropping deep into the water


to hide.




I will observe the daisies


fade and dry up


wuntil they become flour,


snowing themselves onto the table


beside the drone of the refrigerator,


beside the radio playing Frankie


(as often as FM will allow)


snowing lightly, a tremor sinking from the ceiling--

as twenty-five years split from my side


like a growth that I sliced off like a melanoma.




It is six P.M. as I water these tiny weeds


and their little half-life,


their numbered days


that raged like a secret radio,


recalling love that I picked up innocently,


yet guiltily,


as my five-year-old daughter


picked gum off the sidewalk


and it became suddenly an elastic miracle.




For me it was love found


like a diamond


where carrots grow--


the glint of diamond on a plane wing,


meaning:  DANGER!  THICK ICE!


but the good crunch of that orange,


the diamond, the carrot,


both with four million years of resurrecting dirt,


and the love,


although Adam did not know the word,


the love of Adam


obeying his sudden gift.




You, who sought me for nine years,


in stories made up in front of your naked mirror


or walking through rooms of fog women,


you trying to forget the mother


who built guilt with the lumber of a locked door


as she sobbed her soured mild and fed you loss


through the keyhole,


you who wrote out your own birth


and built it with your own poems,


your own lumber, your own keyhole,


into the trunk and leaves of your manhood,


you, who fell into my words, years


before you fell into me (the other,


both the Camp Director and the camper),


you who baited your hook with wide-awake dreams,


and calls and letters and once a luncheon,


and twice a reading by me for you.


But I wouldn't!




Yet this year,


yanking off all past years,


I took the bait


and was pulled upward, upward,


into the sky and was held by the sun--


the quick wonder of its yellow lap--


and became a woman who learned her own shin


and dug into her soul and found it full,


and you became a man who learned his won skin


and dug into his manhood, his humanhood


and found you were as real as a baker


or a seer


and we became a home,


up into the elbows of each other's soul,


without knowing--


an invisible purchase--


that inhabits our house forever.




We were


blessed by the House-Die


by the altar of the color T.V.


and somehow managed to make a tiny marriage,


a tiny marriage


called belief,


as in the child's belief in the tooth fairy,


so close to absolute,


so daft within a year or two.


The daisies have come


for the last time.


And I who have,


each year of my life,


spoken to the tooth fairy,


believing in her,


even when I was her,


am helpless to stop your daisies from dying,


although your voice cries into the telephone:


Marry me!  Marry me!


and my voice speaks onto these keys tonight:


The love is in dark trouble!


The love is starting to die,


right now--


we are in the process of it.


The empty process of it.




I see two deaths,


and the two men plod toward the mortuary of my heart,


and though I willed one away in court today


and I whisper dreams and birthdays into the other,


they both die like waves breaking over me


and I am drowning a little,


but always swimming


among the pillows and stones of the breakwater.


And though your daisies are an unwanted death,


I wade through the smell of their cancer


and recognize the prognosis,


its cartful of loss--




I say now,


you gave what you could.


It was quite a ferris wheel to spin on!


and the dead city of my marriage


seems less important


than the fact that the daisies came weekly,


over and over,


likes kisses that can't stop themselves.




There sit two deaths on November 5th, 1973.


Let one be forgotten--


Bury it!  Wall it up!


But let me not forget the man


of my child-like flowers


though he sinks into the fog of Lake Superior,


he remains, his fingers the marvel


of fourth of July sparklers,


his furious ice cream cones of licking,


remains to cool my forehead with a washcloth


when I sweat into the bathtub of his being.




For the rest that is left:


name it gentle,


as gentle as radishes inhabiting


their short life in the earth,


name it gentle,


gentle as old friends waving so long at the window,


or in the drive,


name it gentle as maple wings singing


themselves upon the pond outside,


as sensuous as the mother-yellow in the pond,


that night that it was ours,


when our bodies floated and bumped


in moon water and the cicadas


called out like tongues.




Let such as this


be resurrected in all men


whenever they mold their days and nights


as when for twenty-five days and nights you molded mine


and planted the seed that dives into my God


and will do so forever


no matter how often I sweep the floor.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Poem :.

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Just as the earth puckered its mouth,
each bud puffing out from its knot,
I changed my shoes, and then drove south.

Up past the Blue Mountains, where
Pennsylvania humps on endlessly,
wearing, like a crayoned cat, its green hair,

its roads sunken in like a gray washboard;
where, in truth, the ground cracks evilly,
a dark socket from which the coal has poured,

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

the grass as bristly and stout as chives,
and me wondering when the ground would break,
and me wondering how anything fragile survives;

up in Pennsylvania, I met a little man,
not Rumpelstiltskin, at all, at all...
he took the fullness that love began.

Returning north, even the sky grew thin
like a high window looking nowhere.
The road was as flat as a sheet of tin.

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Yes, woman, such logic will lead
to loss without death. Or say what you meant,
you coward... this baby that I bleed.


| Posted on 2007-04-16 | by a guest


.: Poem :.

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Just as the earth puckered its mouth,
each bud puffing out from its knot,
I changed my shoes, and then drove south.

Up past the Blue Mountains, where
Pennsylvania humps on endlessly,
wearing, like a crayoned cat, its green hair,

its roads sunken in like a gray washboard;
where, in truth, the ground cracks evilly,
a dark socket from which the coal has poured,

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

the grass as bristly and stout as chives,
and me wondering when the ground would break,
and me wondering how anything fragile survives;

up in Pennsylvania, I met a little man,
not Rumpelstiltskin, at all, at all...
he took the fullness that love began.

Returning north, even the sky grew thin
like a high window looking nowhere.
The road was as flat as a sheet of tin.

Somebody who should have been born
is gone.

Yes, woman, such logic will lead
to loss without death. Or say what you meant,
you coward... this baby that I bleed.


| Posted on 2007-04-16 | by a guest




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