When man,
enters woman,
like the surf biting the shore,
again and again,
and the woman opens her mouth with pleasure
and her teeth gleam
like the alphabet,
Logos appears milking a star,
and the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate
and the woman
climbs into a flower
and swallows its stem
and Logos appears
and unleashes their rivers.

This man,
this woman
with their double hunger,
have tried to reach through
the curtain of God
and briefly they have,
through God
in His perversity
unties the knot.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Anne Sexton's poem When Man Enters Woman


  1. Sam says:

    Hi, The 3rd last line is “though God” not “through God” 🙂

  2. yan n rolland says:

    I can’t get tired reading this wonderful poem. Now This poem is in my mind like the waves on the beach
    telling me there is something else again and again…
    Bravo Anne Sexton

  3. Mary says:

    Sexton’s short poems tend to much more bold in their statements. This particular one caught my eye.

  4. Elizabeth Holliday says:

    There is a typo here at the end. The last line should read, “though God in his perversity” not “through”. This makes a big difference as “through” indicates that through God the male lover has untied the knot, which makes a different point than what Sexton intended.

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