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Anne Sexton - In Excelsis

It is half winter, half spring,
and Barbara and I are standing
confronting the ocean.
Its mouth is open very wide,
and it has dug up its green,
throwing it, throwing it at the shore.
You say it is angry.
I say it is like a kicked Madonna.
Its womb collapses, drunk with its fever.
We breathe in its fury.

I, the inlander,
am here with you for just a small space.
I am almost afraid,
so long gone from the sea.
I have seen her smooth as a cheek.
I have seen her easy,
doing her business,
lapping in.
I have seen her rolling her hoops of blue.
I have seen her tear the land off.
I have seen her drown me twice,
and yet not take me.
You tell me that as the green drains backward
it covers Britain,
but have you never stood on that shore
and seen it cover you?

We have come to worship,
the tongues of the surf are prayers,
and we vow,
the unspeakable vow.
Both silently.
Both differently.
I wish to enter her like a dream,
leaving my roots here on the beach
like a pan of knives.
And my past to unravel, with its knots and snarls,
and walk into ocean,
letting it explode over me
and outward, where I would drink the moon
and my clothes would slip away,
and I would sink into the great mother arms
I never had,
except here where the abyss
throws itself on the sand
blow by blow,
over and over,
and we stand on the shore
loving its pulse
as it swallows the stars,
and has since it all began
and will continue into oblivion,
past our knowing
and the wild toppling green that enters us today,
for a small time
in half winter, half spring.

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Added: May 22 2003 | Viewed: 5024 times | Comments and analysis of In Excelsis by Anne Sexton Comments (4)

In Excelsis - Comments and Information

Poet: Anne Sexton
Poem: In Excelsis
Poem of the Day: Mar 21 2011

Comment 4 of 4, added on August 4th, 2014 at 5:33 PM.

SdBI7P Looking forward to reading more. Great post.Really thank you! Will read on...

crorkz from Faroe Islands
Comment 3 of 4, added on August 3rd, 2014 at 3:56 PM.

yxwlz9 This is one awesome blog post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

crorkz from Denmark
Comment 2 of 4, added on March 15th, 2012 at 1:43 AM.

FLYNT LEVERETT: I could not agree more with what you said on PBS’s Newshour.You said and I quote: I think the Obama administration goes down a very dgernaous path if it lets support for this Green Movement take over its Iran policy.The Obama administration, the United States, has very, very important objectives vis-a-vis Iran, with the nuclear issue, with Iraq and Afghanistan, with other regional issues. The United States needs to be doing serious strategic business with the Islamic republic as it is, and not as some might wish it to be.And that’s what the Obama administration needs to be focused on, and not give into what is, frankly, an illusion that Iranian domestic politics are going to produce some government that we are going to find much, much easier to deal with Reza Aslan, the young iranian is totally out of touch with reality of whats happening inside Iran.

Olabanji from Yugoslavia

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