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Anne Sexton - The Play

I am the only actor.
It is difficult for one woman
to act out a whole play.
The play is my life,
my solo act.
My running after the hands
and never catching up.
(The hands are out of sight -
that is, offstage.)
All I am doing onstage is running,
running to keep up,
but never making it.

Suddenly I stop running.
(This moves the plot along a bit.)
I give speeches, hundreds,
all prayers, all soliloquies.
I say absurd things like:
egss must not quarrel with stones
or, keep your broken arm inside your sleeve
or, I am standing upright
but my shadow is crooked.
And such and such.
Many boos.  Many boos.

Despite that I go on to the last lines:
To be without God is to be a snake
who wants to swallow an elephant.
The curtain falls.
The audience rushes out.
It was a bad performance.
Thatís because Iím the only actor
and there are few humans whose lives
will make an interesting play.
Donít you agree?

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 8 times | Comments and analysis of The Play by Anne Sexton Comments (1)

The Play - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: The Play
Poem of the Day: May 24 2004

Comment 1 of 1, added on July 2nd, 2007 at 8:29 AM.

The start in particular grabbed me, especially when it went on to say the play was my life. I paused and read on.. it touched me.

Marlene Sinclair from Australia

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