Thursday, February 07, 2008

Her Kind

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

In a college poetry class, one of our assignments was to memorize a poem and "perform" it in front of the class. I chose this one. When my professor asked me why I picked it, I said, "Because she's empowered by her insanity." In the end though, I guess it didn't work out too well for her because she killed herself, or maybe, as the second to last line indicates, that's why she killed herself.

I'm not all that into poetry anymore, but this has been my favorite poem ever since I first read and reread and reread it. I think it embodies everything about how I view myself. Just completely crazy and uncomfortable and not giving a shit and caring too much and hating it and loving it and wanting to be everywhere and curled up in a ball in the middle of nowhere all at once.

If I could live inside my head, I'd create a very nice world for myself.



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