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Anne Sexton - The Witch's Life

When I was a child
there was an old woman in our neighborhood whom we called The Witch.
All day she peered from her second story
from behind the wrinkled curtains
and sometimes she would open the window
and yell: Get out of my life!
She had hair like kelp
and a voice like a boulder.

I think of her sometimes now
and wonder if I am becoming her.
My shoes turn up like a jester's.
Clumps of my hair, as I write this,
curl up individually like toes.
I am shoveling the children out,
scoop after scoop.
Only my books anoint me,
and a few friends,
those who reach into my veins.
Maybe I am becoming a hermit,
opening the door for only
a few special animals?
Maybe my skull is too crowded
and it has no opening through which
to feed it soup?
Maybe I have plugged up my sockets
to keep the gods in?
Maybe, although my heart
is a kitten of butter,
I am blowing it up like a zeppelin.
Yes. It is the witch's life,
climbing the primordial climb,
a dream within a dream,
then sitting here
holding a basket of fire.

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Added: May 7 2003 | Viewed: 14322 times | Comments and analysis of The Witch's Life by Anne Sexton Comments (4)

The Witch's Life - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: The Witch's Life
Volume: The Awful Rowing Toward God

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Comment 3 of 4, added on July 18th, 2014 at 11:20 AM.

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Comment 2 of 4, added on June 17th, 2009 at 3:02 AM.

Today is the 3rd. day that I have read Anne Sexton's Poem entitled "The Witch's Life." I am simply a reader
who doesn't use a crystal ball to answer questions of who, why or what chain of events led up to beautiful poetry or stories that often do not reveal things that are beyond our control. My comments are of the story of the poem. What a beautiful story! How wonderful the old lady in the window must have been. To inspire by simply being and to even set the stage for comparison. If, Anne wrote the poem based on non-fiction facts, then, I believe she is blessed. To even begin to tell the story of a transformation of a regular person to a witch is very romantic. On the surface, my message to Anne is that she should welcome the transformation and
possibly seek out others who would welcome her with open arms into a coven. The vast array of herbs, spices and secret recipes can greatly add splendor to your life as well as promote a healthy life style. If, there ever was a family that will make you happy and loved it is a happy go lucky group of witches. Nothing says loving like something from the coven. Anne, by the power of three times three, I wish you peace, contentment and a Merry Twilight. Blessed Be.

Joe Smith from United States

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