Her Kind by Anne Sexton

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.

Anne Sexton

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from http://russellboyle.com
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6 Responses to Her Kind by Anne Sexton

  1. Occasionally I try to write comments in verse. Varying degrees of success.

  2. russellboyle says:

    Deeply poetic commentary. Grateful thanks, Carroll.

  3. The mentally ill see things
    the rest of us are taught
    to blink out.
    Perhaps looking through her eyes
    will prevent me being rebuked
    at length by a donkey
    in some wild scramble for forbidden gold –
    like poor Balaam
    who was said to be a seer.

  4. russellboyle says:

    Yes, I know what you mean. Talent often oozes from illness and depression. We will “enjoy” her legacy but we will not become “her kind.”

  5. indytony says:

    Wow. This is sure a potent poem. I admit I’ve been afraid to read much Anne Sexton because I’m afraid her mental illness might ooze from the page and seep into my own deranged mind to a point of no return. Maybe I’ll have to revisit that decision.

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