autumn poetry

With school readings, I haven't tons and tons of time to read novels at the moment. I've been experimenting with the New Yorker's fiction podcast.... But, to be honest, when I put it on I tend to fall asleep. I'm not a great listener of stories.

Says the reporter.

Anyway, today I meant to find some welcome-autumn poetry to share here. It was so gorgeous in London -- all blue skies and sunshine and falling leaves.

Instead, my flip through my treasured Oxford anthology of English poetry found this poem, by Anne Sexton. It is nothing if not arresting and thought-provoking. Not quite what I aimed for initially, but something to share nonetheless:

End, Middle, Beginning

There was an unwanted child,
Aborted by three modern methods
she hung on to the womb,
hooked onto it
building her house into it
and it was to no avail,
to black her out.

At her birth
she did not cry,
spanked indeed,
but did not yell --
instead snow fell out of her mouth.

As she grew, year by year,
her hair turned like a rose in a vase,
and bled down her face.
Rocks were placed on her to keep
the growing silent,
and though they bruised,
they did not kill,
though kill was tangled into her beginning.

They locked her in a football
but she merely curled up
and pretended it was a warm doll's house.

They pushed insects in to bite her off
and she let them crawl into her eyes
pretending they were a puppet show.

Later, later,
grown fully, as they say,
they gave her a ring,
and she wore it like a root
and said to herself,
"To be not loved is the human condition,"
and lay like a statue in her bed.

Then once,
by terrible chance,
love took her in his big boat
and she shoveled the ocean
in a scalding joy.

love seeped away,
the boat turned into paper
and she knew her fate,
at last.
Turn where you belong,
into a deaf mute
that metal house,
let him drill you into no one.

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