Sunday, November 06, 2005

Her Kind by Anne Sexton

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 you wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

I liked this poem because it gives an empathetic voice to a wicked woman, or as Sexton referres to her, "a possessed witch." I think it's neat how the poet explores the idea of a witch, and delves into that stereotype of fixing the suppers for worms, and haunting the black air and humanizes the witch saying that even such a polarized evil woman is part of her as well. Not only does she give sympathy to "that kind" but she also glorifies the witch saying that that kind is "not afraid to die." The imagery in the last paragraph, where she describes herself waving inside the cart and being burned by fire and the cracking ribs make her out to even be a martyr that is tortured. Sexton also repeats the word "woman" several times, making sure the reader knows that this empathy and glory is specific to the struggle of a woman, it seems. I also like how the last line repeated "I have been her kind" is shorter in syllables than the rest of the lines in the paragraph, which rests a lot of weight on the last line and really drives the point home that even though the speaker is not an evil dark woman all the time, it is still something that lives inside her and something she has experienced before.


Blogger Julie Mong said...

I like the way you analyze the poem and talk about the witch idea. It seems that Sexton gets right down to the core of what an evil womaan is like. The speaker does a great job in describing the witch like behavior. IT makes this woman seem unique, classifying her in a different type of women.

6:19 PM  

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