I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Anne Sexton's poem Her Kind


  1. cleo says:


    when i first read the poem i felt that anne was trying to communicate some kind of the outcast sentiment. for some reason that was the first thing that came to my mind

  2. Diana says:

    First of all I would like to thank you for your comments becuase they helped me to understand the poem. I would only like to add the fact that the last stanza is an allusion to Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake for trying to be more than what society deemed a woman should be. Anne Sexton often uses references to her, and had a respect for Joan.


  3. Keira says:

    In utter agreement with Sarah: This was one of the first works of Anne Sexton I had read (during the brief interlude that I was not voraciously inhaling those of Sylvia Plath) and that’s all it took for me to fall hook, line and sinker for her poetry.

  4. Sarah says:

    I LOVE this poem, it was the first poem that I ever read of Anne Sexton’s and I was immediately enraptured with all of her poetry ever since.

  5. John says:

    This poem is one of Anne Sexton’s strophic poems, boasting a clear rhyme scheme and stanzaic order. The reason for this is that although there is a theme of femine insanity due to oppression, she wanted to convey that she still maintained a sense of reality and calmness.
    The first thing that you notice about this poem is the repetition of the last two lines in every stanza. This is Sexton’s thread throughout this poem and governs each stanza and their respective context. The woman who is not a woman is the witch, the vixen. The woman who keeps a nicely stocked home is misunderstood for reasons such as the loss of independence. The woman who is flamboyant and waves her arms at villagers is not ashamed to die because she is free and has fulfilled something in her life. This, I believe, is Sexton’s transference into her many selves over the course of her life.

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