Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
October 22nd, 2016 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 317,141 comments.
Anne Sexton - All My Pretty Ones

Father, this year's jinx rides us apart 
where you followed our mother to her cold slumber; 
a second shock boiling its stone to your heart,
leaving me here to shuffle and disencumber
you from the residence you could not afford:
a gold key, your half of a woolen mill,
twenty suits from Dunne's, an English Ford,
the love and legal verbiage of another will, 
boxes of pictures of people I do not know. 
I touch their cardboard faces. They must go. 

But the eyes, as thick as wood in this album,
hold me. I stop here, where a small boy
waits in a ruffled dress for someone to come...
for this soldier who holds his bugle like a toy 
or for this velvet lady who cannot smile.
Is this your father's father, this Commodore 
in a mailman suit? My father, time meanwhile
has made it unimportant who you are looking for. 
I'll never know what these faces are all about. 
I lock them into their book and throw them out. 

Tlis is the yellow scrapbook that you began
the year I was born; as crackling now and wrinkly
as tobacco leaves: clippings where Hoover outran 
the Democrats, wiggling his dry finger at me 
and Prohibition; news where the Hindenburg went 
down and recent years where you went flush 
on war. This year, solvent but sick, you meant
to marry that pretty widow in a one-month rush. 
But before you had that second chance, I cried 
on your fat shoulder. Three days later you died. 

These are the snapshots of marriage, stopped in places. 
Side by side at the rail toward Nassau now; 
here, with the winner's cup at the speedboat races, 
here, in tails at the Cotillion, you take a bow,

here, by our kennel of dogs with their pink eyes, 
running like show-bred pigs in their chain-link pen; 
here, at the horseshow where my sister wins a prize; 
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator, 
my first lost keeper, to love or look at later.

I hold a five-year diary that my mother kept 
for three years, telling all she does not say 
of your alcoholic tendency. You overslept, 
she writes. My God, father, each Christmas Day 
with your blood, will I drink down your glass 
of wine? The diary of your hurly-burly years 
goes to my shelf to wait for my age to pass. 
Only in this hoarded span will love persevere. 
Whether you are pretty or not, I outlive you, 
bend down my strange face to yours and forgive you.

Share |

Added: Feb 6 2004 | Viewed: 958 times | Comments and analysis of All My Pretty Ones by Anne Sexton Comments (204)

All My Pretty Ones - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: All My Pretty Ones
Poem of the Day: Nov 27 2000

Comment 204 of 204, added on January 1st, 2016 at 3:39 PM.


nCHqYDPrKUtYuF from Croatia
Comment 203 of 204, added on November 28th, 2015 at 5:33 AM.

ebKfi8 Muchos Gracias for your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

crorkservice from Martinique
Comment 202 of 204, added on November 9th, 2015 at 3:20 PM.

BHpCLU Say, you got a nice blog article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

crork service seo from Colombia

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, All My Pretty Ones, has received 204 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Sexton Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links