Anne Sexton - confessional, intimate, direct - her recorded voice as intriguing as William Burroughs' or Ezra Pound's - even fronted a jazz-rock band towards the end, reciting all her pretty ones to a beat.
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1928 and living all of her life in or near Boston, her first book of poems, To Bedlam and Part Way Back , was published in 1960; her last, Words for Dr. Y. , was published after her death, by her own hand, on October 4th, 1974. She won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1967 for Live or Die .

Sexton letters

"All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What! all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?...
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me."
- Macbeth

All My Pretty Ones

Another quote at the opening of this second Sexton volume (1962), read:

...the books we need are the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that make us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, or lost in a forest remote from all human habitation - a book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.

- from a letter of Franz Kafka to Oskar Pollak

complete poems

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