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Analysis and comments on Wanting To Die by Anne Sexton

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Comment 1 of 29, added on November 2nd, 2005 at 1:56 PM.

I have read this poem many times at different points in my life and
sometimes it seems that new meanings or phrases jump out at me. Anne
Sexton, like her friend Sylvia Plath eventually succeeded in killing

"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...

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

When I hear that I wince from the pain of living, and how at times,
especially when there's massive, deep, oppresive depression, it can feel
like a person is walking around already dead, and that the narrator feels
like she got the briefest taste of death before life and that it was the
sweetest relief.

For a person who's tried suicide (and like Anne, would try again) it's
always a great struggle and temptation that death is there waiting "to
empty my breath from its bad prison". How difficult it can be to turn away
from the darkness and imagined blessed relief and stay contained in a
wrenching, painful body that already feels like a corpse. It's like living
for the narrator is the same as being a soul trapped inside a rotting

Its such a mournful poem.
"They never ask why build"
Would asking change the plans or stop the building?

LolaApple from United States

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Information about Wanting To Die

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: Wanting To Die
Volume: Live Or Die
Year: 1964
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 18865 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 17 2007

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