Some women marry houses.
It’s another kind of skin; it has a heart,
a mouth, a liver and bowel movements.
The walls are permanent and pink.
See how she sits on her knees all day,
faithfully washing herself down.
Men enter by force, drawn back like Jonah
into their fleshy mothers.
A woman is her mother.
That’s the main thing.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Anne Sexton's poem Housewife


  1. Sally Pratt says:

    I am a housewife and know of what Anne speaks. (suicide runs in my family)
    Although I believe we all have compromises to make (the men do as well), we need to find our true selves and why we do the things we do. Life is not easy (sounds cliche’) and we need to not take it for granted that it is.
    We need to look deeper and if LIFE is not what we want we need to delve into that. It’s not an easy path. We all are different with different gifts. Find your gift. I haven’t yet found mine and I am flawed. But I still seek it.
    Please don’t despair. You are not alone.

  2. Linda says:

    this poem expresses Anne Sextons regret about being a housewife and how society wants her to fit into their rules and regulations for women during this time period. I find this poem harsh with reality and how worhtless they really feel as human beings. Clean up after everyone and wipes noses and rear ends. No thanks you did a good job, your expected to do it. Times have changed and I am glad that women have the opportunities to get a education and learn about the world around them and what is avaiable to them.

  3. Ally says:

    she feels like all she is work. no body cares about her. her husband takes advantage of her, and all she is suppose to do is work.

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