I am the love killer,
I am murdering the music we thought so special,
that blazed between us, over and over.
I am murdering me, where I kneeled at your kiss.
I am pushing knives through the hands
that created two into one.
Our hands do not bleed at this,
they lie still in their dishonor.
I am taking the boats of our beds
and swamping them, letting them cough on the sea
and choke on it and go down into nothing.
I am stuffing your mouth with your
promises and watching
you vomit them out upon my face.
The Camp we directed?
I have gassed the campers.

Now I am alone with the dead,
flying off bridges,
hurling myself like a beer can into the wastebasket.
I am flying like a single red rose,
leaving a jet stream
of solitude
and yet I feel nothing,
though I fly and hurl,
my insides are empty
and my face is as blank as a wall.

Shall I call the funeral director?
He could put our two bodies into one pink casket,
those bodies from before,
and someone might send flowers,
and someone might come to mourn
and it would be in the obits,
and people would know that something died,
is no more, speaks no more, won’t even
drive a car again and all of that.

When a life is over,
the one you were living for,
where do you go?

I’ll work nights.
I’ll dance in the city.
I’ll wear red for a burning.
I’ll look at the Charles very carefully,
weraing its long legs of neon.
And the cars will go by.
The cars will go by.
And there’ll be no scream
from the lady in the red dress
dancing on her own Ellis Island,
who turns in circles,
dancing alone
as the cars go by.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Anne Sexton's poem Killing The Love

13 Comments

  1. Karlos says:

    I believe that anne sexton really did love her husband, but knew that it was over. A great example of a song that i think fits well with this Somewhere Over the Rainbow. She believes that there is something better without him but when she gets there, there is nothing

  2. Kiara says:

    The poem “Killing The love”, by Anne Sexton, shows an example of how love is dead. This poem makes perfect sense to me. Whenever you end a relationship you kill that entity that was the joint version of you and someone else. As far as someone not accepting blame, I don’t think this poem tosses blame on anyone, except perhaps the writer herself. She states clearly that she is the love killer, and does not give reasons which could be interpreted as blame on the other person as to why she is killing love. Its more about the death of love. The sympathy and loss and continuation of life that go along with it.

  3. Heather says:

    This poem makes perfect sense to me. Whenever you end a relationship you kill that entity that was the joint version of you and someone else. You can call that “third person” love.

    As far as someone not accepting blame, I don’t think this poem tosses blame on anyone, except perhaps the writer herself. She states clearly that she is the love killer, and doesn’t give reasons (which could be interpreted as blame on the other person) as to why she is killing love. Its more about the death of love. The sympathy and loss and continuation of life that go along with it.

  4. Jay says:

    I find it interesting that those who speak of experiencing the killing of love seem to place the responsibility on others in thier lives and take none of their own.

  5. Michelle says:

    I am new to Anns poetry. It saddens me deeply because my husband is trying with all his might to Kill The Love he has for himself and everyone and thing around him. He is manic depressive and uses her poetry to enable himself to fall deeper so he can kill himself as well. It saddens me because his children will be without a father someday and this sight is only allowing him to gather information to make it worse not better. I feel for Ann I understand her dispare as I am a outsider looking in and watching a beautiful person Kill The Love so you can Kill himself.

  6. Mack says:

    I think it’s important for people in relationships to read and “get” this poem so that they might become aware of ways in which they’re killing the love, perhaps even unintentionally.
    As for Felicity she was only trying to say that suicide is not a solution, and I don’t get the idea she meant “stupid” in an insulting manner. Cut her some slack; she’s thirteen. Also, she did stimulate discussion of the poem so give her that 🙂

  7. John says:

    Sexton gave me good reason to say good bye to all and everything.

  8. Ernest Pena says:

    I don’t think calling anyone on the verge of suicide stupid is such a great idea……………………anyway another well BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED poem by the lovely anne sexton

  9. Siobhan says:

    Lovely poem and amen to natalie who says to look less at her death and more at her work. Ditto for Plath. write on…

  10. teresa says:

    i loved that poem.i mean you can sense the feelings of a love gone bad and the way she wants to get back and at the same time just die inside.the imagery is great.

  11. natalie says:

    THANK U PENNY! so much has sexton been spat in her face for her suicide n this room and finally 1 who can repsect her glorious work. of course,i m not encouraging suicide but we should not judge anne and irregardless(c’mon peeps)we need 2 look les at her death and more at her work.

  12. Penny says:

    Well, the one comment I read came from a 13 year old, who most likely has not experienced something like this and has now idea what this woman must have been feeling. This poem spoke volumes to me, and I could really relate to it due to the fact that I have been seperated for over a year after a ten year relationship. My ex “kills the love” every day. And what we once had becomes less and less as time marches forward. I really feel for this woman and what she must have lived through and felt emotionally before her suicide. Great poem, I look forward to reading more of hers.

  13. Felicity says:

    this was the a okay poem. So why has no-one wrote a comment. You are all lazy. I am 13 and i live in Queensland. If you are going to commit-suicide don’t be so stupid. see ya.

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