Anne Sexton’s “Snow”


Anne Sexton was one of the first poets I read extensively. Her poetic language, compared to most of what I had encountered before, was raw and crackling with electricity. I appreciated then (and still do) her brevity and barrenness, her roughness and lack of skin. Everything in her poems is written in vivid color and stark form. At the time, I wasn’t aware of her lifelong struggles with depression and mental illness. I had no idea what confessional poetry was (I still dislike the term). Sexton’s poems are so much more than personal and to label them “confessional” only seems to limit your understanding of a true poetic genius. Her poems are brave and wild songs she cast purposely, even recklessly, into the gaping void. Among other honors, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1967.

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