Sexton, Anne: Title Commentary

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ANNE SEXTON: TITLE COMMENTARY

The Complete Poems

The Complete Poems

DERYN REES-JONES (ESSAY DATE WINTER 1999)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SEXTON'S POETRY ACCORDING TO CRITIC LIZ PORTER HANKINS

Mrs. Sexton reliably and openly confesses in her work; she seldom, if ever, yields to distortion or illusion. Her poems reflect the intimacy and complexity of her life and her struggle; she dares to set it in verse with the same force with which she lived it. Although many critics have been drawn to Mrs. Sexton's attraction to madness, they have repeatedly failed to deal with her femininity—her intimate search into herself for redemption. She found her answer in her work, not in suicide, through search and affirmation. Her solution lies in the long journey into herself when she transcends in verse the limitations of the physical and when the temple of her body becomes her ideological universe. She summons usage and experience, the world, through her body poetry.

Hankins, Liz Porter. "Summoning the Body: Anne Sexton's Body Poems," in Midwest Quarterly 28, no. 4 (summer 1987): 511-24.

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