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Anne Sexton - The Dead Heart

After I wrote this, a friend scrawled on this page, "Yes." 

And I said, merely to myself, "I wish it could be for a 
different seizure--as with Molly Bloom and her Ďand 
yes I said yes I will Yes."

It is not a turtle 
hiding in its little green shell. 
It is not a stone 
to pick up and put under your black wing. 
It is not a subway car that is obsolete. 
It is not a lump of coal that you could light. 
It is a dead heart. 
It is inside of me. 
It is a stranger 
yet once it was agreeable, 
opening and closing like a clam. 

What it has cost me you can't imagine, 
shrinks, priests, lovers, children, husbands, 
friends and all the lot. 
An expensive thing it was to keep going. 
It gave back too. 
Don't deny it! 
I half wonder if April would bring it back to life? 
A tulip? The first bud? 
But those are just musings on my part, 
the pity one has when one looks at a cadaver. 

How did it die? 
I called it EVIL. 
I said to it, your poems stink like vomit. 
I didn't stay to hear the last sentence. 
It died on the word EVIL. 
It did it with my tongue. 
The tongue, the Chinese say, 
is like a sharp knife: 
it kills 
without drawing blood.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 9316 times | Comments and analysis of The Dead Heart by Anne Sexton Comments (21)

The Dead Heart - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: The Dead Heart
Poem of the Day: Apr 10 2013

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