A thousand doors ago
when I was a lonely kid
in a big house with four
garages and it was summer
as long as I could remember,
I lay on the lawn at night,
clover wrinkling over me,
the wise stars bedding over me,
my mother’s window a funnel
of yellow heat running out,
my father’s window, half shut,
an eye where sleepers pass,
and the boards of the house
were smooth and white as wax
and probably a million leaves
sailed on their strange stalks
as the crickets ticked together
and I, in my brand new body,
which was not a woman’s yet,
told the stars my questions
and thought God could really see
the heat and the painted light,
elbows, knees, dreams, goodnight.

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

27 Comments

  1. M says:

    She is still a child in this poem. She is purposfully obscuring the details of her relationship to her parents, but essentially realizing she is not quite an adult, but is past seeing her parents through rose-coloured glasses. That’s why she tells her dreams goodnight.

  2. Brooke says:

    The speaker was a girl, probably in her mid-teenage years in this poem, and she is now recalling her summers as a little girl. She has not fully reached the stage of womanhood yet, but she has come to the realization that she is no longer a child. She is apparently very wealthy and probably the only child because she said she was “a lonely kid in a big house.” The light coming out of her mother’s window represents her having a warm relationship with her parents, however the half-shut window symbolizes the mystery that her father is in her eyes. And “an eye where sleeper pass” shows that while she does love her father he is a man that often prefers to keep to himself. Though she has a warm relationship with her mother, she does not trust her, which is seen when taking into consideration that her question and thought seem to be confessed only to the stars. The point that the speaker looks as though she is trying to get across is that even though we may feel completely alone at time as we face the many stages and struggles in our lives, we are never truly alone, because we will always have the stars and God to listen to us.

  3. Billally Bopkins says:

    Ga BEST beset poem ever

  4. Antonio Moore says:

    I liked this one it gave me a sense of safety and it put an image of God and the starsin my head. It was great.

  5. Sharaina Troop says:

    The poem has to do with her becoming a young women and finding her sensuality- i think……….

  6. Chad says:

    I think this npoem was written about a girl whe she is all grown up an she is at her parents house remembering all when she was a little girl when she layed in her lawn watching the stars and whatching in her parents window

  7. Kaitlyn says:

    I liked the it alot,I think it was about her growing up and what the day was like and how she didn’t feel like a woman yet but she was almost there and about her summer growing up

  8. Alisha says:

    I think that this poem was written by a women that was thinking back to when she was young…and she wrote about her thoughts while she lay on the ground…

  9. anita says:

    I think this poem was written when the girl was grown up, she is remembering her summer.At this time the girl is not quite a woman but is no longer a child. She is rich and probably the only child b/c she said a lonely kid in a big house. The light coming out of her mother’s window symbolizes a warm relationship, however the half shut window symbolizes a mystery that her father is to her. And “an eye where sleeper pass” that her father keeps to himself. Thoough she has a warm relationship with her mother, she does not trust her b/c her question and thought are expressed to the stars.
    Hope this is right b/c i have to interpret it next class.

  10. harley says:

    that its about her first time masterbateing

  11. Jessica says:

    Lines- explanation
    1. many years ago
    2. her parents had died, she was lonely
    3-4. the girl was wealthy but lonely without her parents to love her
    5-7. she had always laid outside at night watching the sky on top of the ground and grass
    8. stars all around her
    9-10. the lack of light in her mothers room tells that her mother’s death caused their strong relationship to become weak
    11. the window to the bedroom was half shut resembling an eye
    12. nobody slept in the bedroom after her parents had passed
    13-14. the boards of the house were bright white
    15-16. the leaves on the trees swayed representing calmness
    17. the crickets chirping together was the only sound in the night
    18-19. she is maturing and growing up by herself without anyone to raise her
    20. she laid beneath the stars and prayed
    21-22. she thought God was taking care of her parents in Heaven
    21&23. she thought God was watching out for her and listening to her prayers before she went to bed

    with all of my research i believe that to be correct but there is always room for opinion

  12. Cecilia says:

    This poem is a wonderful piece of reflective art that has universal appeal. How can those of us who had a less than perfect childhood, fail to empathise with this poem. In the poem Sexton shows how her trust, reliance and support in those days could only be within nature. She turns to nature in this poem in the way that she should have been able to turn to her parents. It is very well-written with an indirect theme : childhood/adolescent instability.

  13. ncc says:

    This is what the meaning of this poem is I believe
    A thousand doors ago-so like before she had opened a thousand doors, a long time ago-
    when i was a lonely kid- and only child-
    in a bighouse with four
    garages and it was summer
    as long as I rmember- so she was rich and it seemed like the perfect home from the ooutside-
    I lay on the lawn at night
    clovers wrinkling under me- she is outside at night-
    my mother’s window a funnel
    of yellow heat running out- so in the dark when there is a light on, you can see the rays coming out of the window, and im guessing it means that hers and her mothers relationship was a storng one-
    my fathers window, half shut
    an eye where sleepers pass- so he’s already alsleep, and im guessing her parents dont sleep in the same room, he father stays a mistery to her-
    and the boards of the house
    were smooth and white as wax- just the moon light on the house peaceful-
    and probabley a million leaves
    sailed by on their starange stalks- uhm this is one i never understood much, but i think its talking about her friends-
    as the crickets ticked together- so peaceful night-
    and I in my brand new body,
    which was not yet a womens- so she young like 12 or 13-
    told my questions to the stars- so i guess she is like praying :S-
    and thought god could really see
    the heat and painted light- so i guess believeing that even god could see though her family perfect family portrate-
    elbows, knees, dreams, goodnight- so im guessing falling asleep-

    well i had a lot of trouble with that poem and if i got it wrong polease correct me, but i know that if there had have been an explanation like this ofr the poem, i would have kissed the persons feet, so your welcome and please correct what ever i missunderstood

  14. trisha says:

    I agree and think that she is relating the poem to her childhood.It is siad that she always felt that her parents never wanted her. They also died of disease when she was young. I think that the poem relates to her relationship with her parents when she was young.

  15. Joshua says:

    well all you love out their listen to this. here I go

    It seem like every thing is change when some one walk in the room. you pass me, by I had to take a look from the side. then you caugth me with those sexy eyes. I to say some thing to you. all night, I won’t show you around my town. give me your number so we can talk. she said why so we can get little more person. I talk her at 7:00 p.m. we talk all night. then I set a date for tomorrow at a place nice.then I pick her up and her brilliant color blind my eyes and I had to just stop then look at you again wondering how did I meet beautiful girl like you one who bring fun in to my life the I can trust to love me right she have a way of show love in a lot of place it seem like she passion about me because she just won’t stop talking about me when she only a few hours from me can’t do thing right. It the same way with me. I can’t go with out her it no long a problem when she can’t stop love me. it seem like the whole night that we talk about each other but the night had to end. I said bye and she got out the car, call you tomorrow bye

  16. Jenifer says:

    Notice, this poem is spoken in one breath with no periods or spaces between stanzas. One breath. Like that one quick breath of being young. You inhale, you exhale, and its over. Think about it.

  17. James says:

    I didn’t like this poem. While it is asthetically pleasing i thought that there were several important issues with it. Firstly its overly sentimental and depends heavily for its affect on the tugging of heart strings and middle america nostalgia. Secondly its themes are alittle hackneyed and thirdly its just a slice of americana with nothing to say about many of the realities of life faced by most real people in the real world.

  18. mbmanray says:

    This is one of the loveliest poems ever writen. Our youth becomes preciouse only after it has become just a memory. Time flies. It’s so much in our memories that allow us to keep our lives filled with beauty and meaning. I’m with her, this young girl, lying on the grass at dusk. I feel her words as though it were my own memory from youth. Reading this poem is like returning to my youth on the breath of a daydream on the crest of a cool summer breeze. Ann Sexton, I never knew you, but I loved you. I carry this poem in my wallet. M

  19. mdizzle says:

    i thought this peom really blew b/c i have no idea what it means and i have to write a friggen paper on it describing it w/ 1)to kill a mockingbird 2)ethan frome 3)the crucible 4)of mice and men. I have to do the paper describing two of the books.

  20. mary says:

    I could be entirely wrong, but I always saw the “yellow funnel of light” that she speaks of to be symbolic of her relationship with her mother. There are two windows: her mother’s and her father’s. She describes her mother’s window with warmth, and then in the following two lines she writes that her father’s was “half shut,an eye where sleepers pass”. Her descriptions of the windows reflect her feelings toward her parents. I hope that this helped!

    ps- this poem has been one of my favorites for a long time, and with the onset of summer, “I Remember” is a fun one too :).

  21. Rae says:

    This poem helped me understand myself. The first time I read it was the other day in class, I thought it was going to be just another stupid poem, but it really spoke to me. Although my interpretation may be different from other people’s, it still works. Anne Sexton is now one of my favorite poets.

  22. Amy says:

    What does the funnel of yellow heat running out mean?

  23. Madaishiah says:

    I really enjoyed this poem but i didnt quite get it. If her parents died when she was young why is there light coming from her mothers and fathers room?

  24. Adrienne Vaughan says:

    I think that this poem symbolizes a young woman growing up and watching the changes that were taking place. Her parents also died when she was young, so she was also dealing with that. Jer questions were left up to God, as the memory of summer surrounded her.

  25. Kelsey says:

    I really wish someone could explain it!

  26. teno says:

    i read this poem in class and i like it a lot

  27. harry says:

    It is such a nice and beautiful poem.

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