Powerful imagery is used throughout the entire poem to describe the struggles and loneliness of being a female outcast in society. The first stanza characterizes Sexton as a “possessed witch,” that is “twelve-fingered,” and “out of mind.” After all of this is stated, she produces an image of an abnormal woman that is flawed and completely sways away from society’s view on women. An uncomfortable feeling is stirred within the reader that is similar to that of the woman viewed as an outcast. She also describes herself as “braver at night,” and goes on to paint and image of her flying over houses at night. The scene is easily imaginable, but holds more meaning within. Sexton is alluding to the fact that the darkness is the only way for her to escape her reality that consists of daily judgement from society. This judgement originates from individuals within society that live perfect lives. The lives that they are living are assumed to be normal, thus making anyone swaying from that life an outcast. She also states, “A woman like that is not a woman,
In Ishmael Reed’s 1070 poem, Beware: Do Not Read This Poem, lines one to four represents the backbone upon which the entire of the poem rest. Great writers and storytellers have been known to build a complex body of work, based on a small sample of the work itself. This trend in common even in other forms of art like music, where simple lines composed as the chorus of the song, describe the purpose and intent of the entire song. This is also true in poetry, as well as in prose and in most plays. In a play, a scene in an act can define the structure of the play and a paragraph in an essay can serve as the soul of the essay. The same is true in Ishmael Reed’s 1070 classic poem, Beware: Do Not Read This Poem; a complex body of work whose soul can be understood in the first stanza, which describes the personality of the subject (the reader) and the poem itself. The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth analysis about how the beginning four lines help us understand the rest of the poem.
As the “fair” lady is depicted by the words “scan,” “lip,” and “sip,” her femininity is noticeable even after her spouse’s death. In rendezvous with the lover, she part with him “with a shudderful kiss” (46). The kiss “before the brass” (46) shows her not only her female sexuality and passionate love for the lover, but also her fear of committing the sinful and immoral
However, the self-deprecating tone she has been carrying is not yet put to rest. She writes, “Men can do best, and Women know it well,” which makes the poem a bit less scandalous, but to some may seem to be thickly laced with sarcasm (37). She tells the readers that men were, by nature, given the tools to succeed rather than women, yet still manages to demand that men acknowledge that women are capable writers as well with “Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours” (42). The concluding stanza also attempts to earn women the right to play the same game as men, while also trying not to make the men feel threatened. Bradstreet writes that the men can keep the bays of a great poet, her speaker would rather have a wreath made out of typical cooking spices.
In “Her Kind” the audience is taken along for a ride down the speakers’ memory lane. Though it is a sad poem upon reading it, the audience is empowered by the speakers’ story. Anne Sexton expertly utilizes imagery, characterization and repetition throughout her poem “Her Kind”.
Williams’ poem The Young Housewife not only grants the reader visual stimulus, but also leaves one wondering the truth behind the work. The poem begins with the speaker seeing the housewife in her nightgown through the window, at ten A.M., and within that moment she walked outside her house still dressed in her negligee. This suggests that the young housewife saw the speaker of the poem driving past her house through the window. When the speaker mentions the housewife was uncorseted, it indicates the lust the speaker has imagined when her body was seen since being “uncorseted” has to do with the noticing and looking the upper body of a woman. The speaker describes the young housewife tucking in the strands of her hair showing that the speaker of the poem was able to get a look at the young housewife’s appearance. The entire poem emits the sensation of a brief moment of lust between the speaker and housewife as they drive by slowly listening only to the sound of leaves crackling in that instant of
To the woman, becoming “a lean gray witch” is a defense mechanism to protect herself from the dangerous advances of her hunter, highlighted when “he sharpens his knife.” By using alliteration and repeating the “s” sound in the first two lines (safely, shut, sharpens), it imitates the “shing” sound of the sharpening knife. This allows for the danger to be perceived as more real and imminent, further justifying the actions of the woman. Also, by using enjambment and having the word “knife” linger at the end of the line, it allows the danger to linger along with it. It leaves the danger of the knife hanging, once again making the danger feel real and building tension within the poem. Due to this looming danger the woman perceives herself to be in; she becomes something completely different, a creature that can protect itself, and not just a helpless prey. Instead of being a victim, she becomes the aggressor and “comes toward him.” The man never
When speaking your feeling does not express the truth within you, written words maybe the only solution. Depression is not always easy to put into words; however, Anne Sexton uses poetry to express her emotions. After the birth of her second child Sexton suffered a mental break down. In “Her Kind” Sexton describes how she feels isolated from the world. She refers to herself as a possessed witch whose warm caves lay in the woods. Sexton uses analogy to express her house as the warm cave in the woods. This type of metaphor expressed how sexton feels about herself compared to society. Throughout the poem see uses repetation of I have been her kind. Meaning that she has tried to fit into the social norm of a women’s role, but continued to feel isolated. Finally, she states that she has ridden in a cart as she is spoken to the drover of the cart. The cart is referring to death. Which she believes is the only way out of her isolation. Sexton expresses her feeling so isolation through “Her kind”. Three stages of life are within the poem: stanza one depicts adulthood, becoming a mother and wife during stanza two, then her desire toward death as she expresses a sense of freedom as “she waves her nude arms to the villages”. be describing her childhood life, then is continues into A few years after writing the poem sexton successes at her desire to death by suicide.
The poetic composition, “Her Kind,” is Anne Sexton’s confessional, a devotion allowing female readers a keen awareness of the knowledge that they are not forsaken within a male dominated society. The conception, of the work of art, arrives years before its birth. Sexton’s psychiatrist, Orne, speaks to the poet, expressing that her poetry allows women to consider “there’s somebody else like [her and] they wouldn’t feel alone,” in other words, there are women who are her kind (Perez 25). Additionally, in a personal journal, Sexton notes, “Somebody sees me, and I see myself through them. Then it’s all gone, the whole world falls apart” (Perez 21). One can undeniably associate this journal entry with the verse “A woman like that is not a woman, quite” (Sexton 513). Furthermore, Sexton is a woman who wears countless masks, in her personal life, mimicking the masks of the women within “Her Kind”. Concluding, it is not a great mystery, taking Sexton’s personal life into account, how she is capable of ascribing herself to a witch, a housewife, and a martyr.
“Women” plays off the phrase “place your woman on a pedestal”; however, the poem makes the women the pedestal so that men can use them as steps to be superior. In A Doll’s House Nora acts as a pedestal to Torvald to allow him to be above her. “Women” directly compares females to pedestals for men to upraise their egos. The poem begins with the words “Women should be pedestals” (L.1-3). The comparison of women to pedestals indicates that one of the few purposes of women is to praise men and boost their self-pride.
Through three types of women, "Her Kind" reveals the ordeals of women who reject the roles expected of them. They often face isolation and ostracism by society. Sexton uses imagery of a witch as a metaphor. The witch is a modern woman. More importantly, how society views a modern woman. She becomes misunderstood and feared because she refuses to conform. Just as the women in each stanza refuse to conform so does Sexton. She does not comply with the formal format of a tetrameter. The irregularity of the poem complements the subject of the poem that not all women are confined to the roles society has given them. Women who deny these social roles have been condemned for centuries because they are considered strange. Although these women have been
Anne Sexton’s "Her Kind” and “For John Who Begs Me Not To Enquire Further” have both similarities and differences that make each poem emotionally and visually unique. Both poems use similar techniques when it comes to message that Sexton is trying to deliver to the reader. This technique includes the use of intense imagery so that the reader can visualize the situation that Sexton felt that she was in. This technique also uses Sexton’s tone to express to the reader the emotions that she felt in that exact moment. In contrary to the similar technique used in each poem, when it comes to the specific aspects of imagery, tone, and message are completely different from one another. Although, “Her Kind” and “For John Who Begs Me Not to Enquire Further” are similar when it comes to tying tone, and imagery together and transforming them into a message for the reader, the types of imagery, tone, and message that each individual poem has are very different from one another.
While this was written post-Elizabethan times during the reign of James the first, traditionally and largely the woman was still confined to housework. Overall, this critic suggests a useful argument concerning the necessary form and purpose of the poem.
Anne Sexton, an author of confessional poetry lived a short, traumatizing life. Writing poetry was a way to express her deep suppressed emotions. Sexton is untraditional and inconsistent in the formation of poems, yet she is able to create impeccable imagery, criticize and challenge the minds of her readers. Through further analysis, one can see the connection of her past experiences to her cynical attitude of the realistic events outlined in her writing. Sexton gives her poem, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) an interesting obscure twist, exposing a perplexing interpretation to the renowned Brothers Grimm tale. She freely explores
The poem “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton details a dark walk down memory lane where the speaker of the poem is remembering all the things she has been in the past. What is known about the speaker is that she is a woman and what is learnt through her situation is her path already being determined. The speaker does not remain angered in the matter of her gender but it becomes the basis of her solidarity with everything outside the fold. In the first stanza, the speaker claims herself to be a witch in a possessed form of being it does not matter what she does it is how and when she does it because she is on the move. Sexton is bound to make her readers see how strange her speaker truly is as she explains who truly gets to decide what a woman is. The speaker is drawing back to think of the categories of people and the kinds of women who do not fit in with society’s mold. The last line of the first stanza becomes important as it turns everything around with the declaration of the speaker’s self in “I”. The “I” in the first line is not the same in the last line of stanza one, two, and three. The woman puts a distance between the possessed witch-like woman and herself to affirm that she is one of her kind. The witch woman then becomes a conceit and symbol throughout the rest of the poem for what the speaker is truly experiencing because she uses the word “kind” to express both forms of identification through actual relation and metaphorical. Sexton also uses the matter of imagery