Our bimonthly theme on Girl Power and Women’s Wiles comes to an end this week. And as such, it was a little difficult for me to choose who among my favorite female poets I would share with you today. After much deliberation, I decided on the gritty, outspoken, brilliant Anne Sexton who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1967 as my offering for Poetry Friday which is hosted this week by the beautiful Irene Latham of Live! Love! Explore!
Anne Sexton who was born in 1928 in Massachusetts and passed away in 1974 (two years before I was born) was famous for her confessional poetry. As a clinician, her poetry fascinates me to no end (as do Sylvia Plath’s and Emily Dickinson’s) as it explores the quietly-distinct unraveling of her mind – and it also fills me with immeasurable sadness.
On occasion, poetry heals with its therapeutic (and somewhat damning) truths. At other times, it may drive you to the edge where the vast darkness may seem more comforting than the drab daily routines faced each day. While my absolute favorite Sexton poem is Rowing, I will be sharing another poem this week, which I feel is more apt, given our theme:
In Celebration of My Uterus Everyone in me is a bird. I am beating all my wings. They wanted to cut you out but they will not. They said you were immeasurably empty but you are not. They said you were sick unto dying but they were wrong. You are singing like a school girl. You are not torn. Sweet weight, in celebration of the woman I am and of the soul of the woman I am and of the central creature and its delight I sing for you. I dare to live. Hello, spirit. Hello, cup. Fasten, cover. Cover that does contain. Hello to the soil of the fields. Welcome, roots. Each cell has a life. There is enough here to please a nation. It is enough that the populace own these goods. Any person, any commonwealth would say of it, “It is good this year that we may plant again and think forward to a harvest. A blight had been forecast and has been cast out.” Many women are singing together of this: one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine, one is at the aquarium tending a seal, one is dull at the wheel of her Ford, one is at the toll gate collecting, one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona, one is straddling a cello in Russia, one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt, one is painting her bedroom walls moon color, one is dying but remembering a breakfast, one is stretching on her mat in Thailand, one is wiping the ass of her child, one is staring out the window of a train in the middle of Wyoming and one is anywhere and some are everywhere and all seem to be singing, although some can not sing a note. Sweet weight, in celebration of the woman I am let me carry a ten-foot scarf, let me drum for the nineteen-year-olds, let me carry bowls for the offering (if that is my part). Let me study the cardiovascular tissue, let me examine the angular distance of meteors, let me suck on the stems of flowers (if that is my part). Let me make certain tribal figures (if that is my part). For this thing the body needs let me sing for the supper, for the kissing, for the correct yes.