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Anne Sexton - Wanting To Die

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the most unnameable lust returns.

Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention
the furniture you have placed under the sun.

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.

Twice I have so simply declared myself
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.

In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.

I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.

Still-born, they don't always die,
but dazzled, they can't forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.

To thrust all that life under your tongue! --
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death's a sad bone; bruised, you'd say,

and yet she waits for me, year and year,
to so delicately undo an old would,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.

Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,

leaving the page of a book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 363 times | Comments and analysis of Wanting To Die by Anne Sexton Comments (43)

Wanting To Die - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: Wanting To Die
Volume: Live Or Die
Year: Published/Written in 1964
Poem of the Day: Aug 17 2007

Comment 43 of 43, added on June 8th, 2015 at 11:07 PM.

5zR77K Major thankies for the blog article.Thanks Again. Great.

crorkzz catz from Indonesia
Comment 42 of 43, added on May 31st, 2015 at 9:21 PM.
Anne Sexton

This is one of, if not my absolute, favorite poems. As you said, the phrases reach out and make such perfect PERFECT sense to those of us who have walked these steps ourselves. The pain, the sense of just-out-of-reach relief…. all of her phrases reach deep into my soul (and that of so many readers, I am certain) to caress that itch. Whether that touch serves to inflame it or soothe it is the surprise…. each time may be the tipping point.

kimmieG from United States
Comment 41 of 43, added on May 29th, 2015 at 7:10 PM.

6uTEOq Hiya! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice information you have right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your blog for more soon.

crorkzz from Iceland

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