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Analysis and comments on A Curse Against Elegies by Anne Sexton

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Comment 3 of 300, added on August 11th, 2010 at 8:36 PM.
A curse against elegies

This poem is about how people are forever writing about the dead and
reminding people about all the losses in the world. Whats a bit odd about
this poem is that Anne is basically complaining about elegies but throught
out her poet career, she has written many many elegies. Although i enjoyed
this poem immensely, i don't see the point of complaining if alot of her
poet career has been elegies.

Sheree from Australia
Comment 2 of 300, added on June 9th, 2007 at 10:36 AM.

such a beautiful poem

yann rolland from France
Comment 1 of 300, added on May 3rd, 2005 at 8:25 AM.

Anne's 'curse' here is wonderful is wonderful. For me though, this is the
Anne Sexton - surely an ironic name for a bellringer - had a troubled
alcholism, drug dependency, madness, sexual abuse, you name it. She
committed suicide in 1974 at I'm not sure what age but probably in her
forties. One of the stream of shrinks who 'treated' her over the years, Dr
Martin T Orne, who taped his consultations with her and used them in a
of biography, encouraged her to write down her feelings. He justified his
use of the tapes because, he said, they show "how a gifted person who was
nowhere could, with some help, becomes an outstanding poet". This leaves

Ringing The Bells

And this is the way they ring
the bells in Bedlam
and this is the bell-lady
who comes each Tuesday morning
to give us a music lesson
and because the attendants make you go
and because we mind by instinct,
like bees caught in the wrong hive,
we are the circle of the crazy ladies
who sit in the lounge of the mental house
and smile at the smiling woman
who passes us each a bell,
who points at my hand
that holds my bell, E flat,
and this is the grey dress next to me
who grumbles as if it were special
to be old, to be old,
and this is the small hunched squirrel girl
on the other side of me
who picks at the hairs over her lip,
who picks at the hairs over her lip all day,
and this is how the bells really sound,
as untroubled and clean
as a workable kitchen,
and this is always my bell responding
to my hand that responds to the lady
who points at me, E flat;
and although we are no better for it,
they tell you to go. And you do.

From To Bedlam And Part Way Back
(Houghton Mufflin 1960; OUP 1964)

John from United Kingdom

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Information about A Curse Against Elegies

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: A Curse Against Elegies
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 2756 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 8 2007

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