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Comment 11 of 31, added on September 27th, 2010 at 9:17 PM.
I have to agree with Shawn. The first time I ever read this poem (in tenth
grade), I was struck with the sense that the speaker herself wanted to die.
I immediately got the feeling that Anne Sexton was suicidal. And then my
teacher confirmed it. About her battle with depression, her suicide
attempts, her hospitalization, and eventual death. It really is quite
amazing how much this poem and Anne Sexton's life go hand-in-hand. It's as
if she was speaking in code about her own life, daring someone to figure
out the riddle and know the dreadful fate she wished for herself.
Comment 10 of 31, added on November 12th, 2008 at 9:17 PM.
the cyprus tree represents death
eleven stars represent apostles (after judas and before matthias)
michelle mi. from United States
Comment 9 of 31, added on March 17th, 2007 at 2:26 PM.
When I read that a person has allowed themselves to die I think (shall I
say? as Anne questioned in her poem) ...I think of Xt. He too allowed
others to murder Him, and for no reason. Or was there a reason? We
observers from the outside are once again led by (shall I say
it...religion)?? yes led into Mystery again and again. Shall I say it
Divine Mystery. Can the cause of death be birth? ..for Nicole presently,
for Magdeline distantly, for Anne 40+ years past. The sorrowing mother
Maria's mother was Anne, over 2000 years past. Now I read the deep and
beautiful insights of another Anne whom I find most profound. gratias
agamus Domino Deo nostro...
from United States
Comment 8 of 31, added on February 9th, 2006 at 8:08 AM.
I think Sexton produces incredible imagery in this poem. If one had never
seen Van Gogh's painting, it would still be as captivating. Having seen
the painting however, I understand the "this is how I want to die" comment.
It is not a depressing thought, or even that dark of a comment. It is
purely the statement of the brilliance of the stars in the painting, and
how if she could choose how to die, it would be to be sucked up into these
fantastic stars. Incredible and wonderful.
V from Canada
Comment 7 of 31, added on January 23rd, 2006 at 12:01 PM.
i think this poem is absolutely brilliant. i love anne sexton's writing.
i admire how she wrote about a work of art, and it was all about her
observations and opinions about the poem. brilliant.
lauren from United States
Comment 6 of 31, added on September 17th, 2005 at 11:13 PM.
The first stanza really does it for me. The town does not exist, she says.
And in the painting that is so true as well. Except, she continues, where
the lone tree projects upward. That image of this immense faceless town
that in truth has no existence outside of that one lone tree. And the
isolation which that implies. The bitter loneliness that to some extent is
the lot of any true artist is so beautifully expressed in this absolutely
Comment 5 of 31, added on September 16th, 2005 at 4:08 PM.
Brilliant description of Van Gogh's famous painting. She makes the night
scene seem both beautiful and terrifying. I find it fascinating how Anne
was able to convey her passion for life within the context of her death.
She didn't want to die meekly, but would rather lunge headlong into her
fate, unburdened by ideologies and the base desires of humanity.
Mila from United States
Comment 4 of 31, added on July 20th, 2005 at 11:25 AM.
I believe the exellent writer Anne Sexton wrote this poem to confirm that
she had a great appreciation for art.She wanted to know how Van Gogh felt
and she knew exactly what it was like for him.She composed this but could
not find it within herself to live.Her imagery and symbolism are
exellent.She is dearly missed.
Breck A. Cox
from United States
Comment 3 of 31, added on May 8th, 2005 at 11:41 PM.
actually, this poem (written in 1961) is a clear prediction of her
impending suicide in october of 1974. the whole thing is riddled with
details hinting at how she actually did eventually kill herself...read her
bio thoroughly, find out how she dies, then read the poem again. i just did
my thesis on this poem, i couldn't believe my eyes when i realized what i'd
stumbled across. i thought it was just going to be a run-o-the-mill sexton
depression piece relating to her impressions of the painting by van gogh.
but it was anything but that. it is intensely autobiographical. later ya'll
and keep reading and writing! don't let the poetry fade!
Shawn from United States
Comment 2 of 31, added on April 18th, 2005 at 7:18 PM.
This poem to me seems very dark. I feel that its about death possible an
after life. He is living in a town where he feels he doesnt exist everyone
in this town is alive but doesnt acknowledge his existanceand he wants to
cole from United States
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