Anne Sexton

2598 WordsApr 5, 200111 Pages
Anne Sexton believed that the most interesting poetry was written out of personal experience. Everything she had been through, her hospitalization, her affairs, her insanity, the loss of her parents, and great-aunt, gave her things to write about. She uses poetry as one of her outlet. She writes out her problems. Her writing was a part of her therapy. As a child, Anne Sexton had to be the center of attention, "a demanding child" (Self-Portrait in Letter 3). When Anne was younger, she thought of herself as an outcast and unwanted (Hall 3). Anne's great-aunt Nana died in July 1954. She thought the death of Nana was her fault. This was proved in some of the poetry that Anne wrote, "I knew you forever and you were always old, /…show more content…
In March 1960, her father-in-law was killed in a car accident. Anne expressed her feeling of guilt in these events by writing. "I am depressed, My mother is dying of cancer. My mother says I gave her cancer" (Hall 6). Her father was ready to remarry, but he died before the marriage could happen. Anne remembers what happened in All My Pretty Ones: This year, solvent out sick, you meant to marry that pretty widow in a one-month rush. But before you had that second chance, I cried on your fat shoulder. Three days later you died. (All The Pretty Ones 5) The first volume of her poetry to be published was To Bedlam and part Way Back, in March 1960. Her second volume All My Pretty Ones was dedicated to the dead family members. It was nominated for National Book Award. Anne was starting to gain recognition as a poet by the fall of 1960. She got a job with a literary and a lecture agency. Anne was awarded grants, invited to appear on television, and give interviews. M. L. Rosenthal, a critic, might be responsible for the labeling of Anne's writing as ‘confessional poetry'. Whoever intended it, it was a term both helpful and too limited, and very possibly the conception of a confessional school has by now done a certain amount of damage (Hall 33). "All the confessional poets suffered mental illness. Most spent time in mental hospitals. Some committed suicide" (Hall 35). According to Rosenthal, breakdown and suicide are parts
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