Perhaps the earth is floating,
I do not know.
Perhaps the stars are little paper cutups
made by some giant scissors,
I do not know.
Perhaps the moon is a frozen tear,
I do not know.
Perhaps God is only a deep voice
heard by the deaf,
I do not know.

Perhaps I am no one.
True, I have a body
and I cannot escape from it.
I would like to fly out of my head,
but that is out of the question.
It is written on the tablet of destiny
that I am stuck here in this human form.
That being the case
I would like to call attention to my problem.

There is an animal inside me,
clutiching fast to my heart,
a huge carb.
The doctors of Boston
have thrown up their hands.
They have tried scalpels,
needles, poison gasses adn the like.
The crab remains.
It is a great weight.
I try to forget it, go about my business,
cook the broccoli, open the shut books,
brush my teeth and tie my shoes.
I have tried prayer
but as I pray the crab grips harder
and the pain enlarges.

I had a dream once,
perhaps it was a dream,
that the crab was my ignorance of God.
But who am I to believe in dreams?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Anne Sexton's poem The Poet Of Ignorance


  1. Olive says:

    I think the poem is about Sexton’s point of view on god. It gives me a feeling that she could be a agnostic since in the poem, she writes,

    “Perhaps God is only a deep voice
    heard by the deaf,
    I do not know.”

    She shows uncertainties towards the matter of “god”. She has problems that even “doctors of boston have thrown up their hands”. When she dreams about the crab being ignorance of god, she probably consciously or subconciously knows that if she turns to god which is followed by the removal of the crab, she will be cured from whatever problem she is undergoing. However, she does not want to because she it would mean also taking away the poet in her from her.

  2. Pak says:

    I don’t know what this poem is about. I am a reader of ignorance.

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