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Anne Sexton - Elizabeth Gone


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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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 7865 times | Comments and analysis of Elizabeth Gone by Anne Sexton Comments (3)

Elizabeth Gone - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: Elizabeth Gone
Poem of the Day: Dec 20 2012

Comment 3 of 3, added on December 21st, 2014 at 4:49 PM.

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Comment 2 of 3, added on July 17th, 2011 at 2:43 PM.

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Chamomile from Guyana
Comment 1 of 3, added on December 3rd, 2004 at 9:35 AM.

Very deep. Made me cry when she talked about the bony or shell like ashes. I have my brother and Dad's a

Beth from United States

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