How Does Anne Sexton Present Herself in 'Her Kind' and 'the Black Art'?

Topics: Poetry, Woman, Mental disorder Pages: 2 (713 words) Published: November 1, 2010
How does Anne Sexton presents herself in ‘The Black Art’ and ‘Her Kind'?

Anne Sexton’s poem ‘The Black Art’ is often seen a metaphor for her poetry, this poem shows how she presents herself to society and how she perceives herself as an individual. This poem is often called highly confessional, however Sexton argues against the label of ‘confessional poet’, it also suggests her own feelings towards the stereotyping of people, and women in particular. ‘As if cycles and children and islands weren’t enough.’, this quote taken from ‘the black art’ demonstrates sextons negative feelings towards the stereotypical woman, the way she uses the phrase ‘weren’t enough’ and ‘never enough’ suggests that for her the normal passage of womanhood, or motherhood were not enough, as if she was constantly seeking something extra in her life, the idea of seeking something more suggests a feeling of isolation that is echo through out this poem and the poem ‘her kind’ contextually it is fitting as in the time Anne sexton wrote this poem very few women would have been working mothers, most would have simply been house wives, content to stay at home and raise children, which would have separated Sexton from society, this teamed with the bi-polar disorder she suffered from would have made her a real anomalie ‘a woman like that is misunderstood’ and added to her own feelings of isolation. It has been said that sextons ‘bi-polarism’ is hugely reflected within her poetry, at the end of her poem ‘her kind’ she writes ‘a woman like that is not ashamed to die’ this suggest that although the persona, and if we agree that Sextons poetry is confessional, Sexton herself, feels that she has been isolated all her life and forced to find safey in ‘warm caves in the woods’ in which to hide herself for society, she is still proud of all that she has achieved and therefore is ‘not ashamed to die’ and this massively juxtaposes the beginning of the poem where she calls herself a ‘possessed witch’...
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