Friday, June 18, 2010

Said the Poet to the Analyst

I thought I would take the time to give credit where credit is due. The title for this blog is not my own invention, but taken from Anne Sexton’s “Said the Poet to the Analyst.” In high school—during my days of angst—Sexton was hands down my favorite poet. While I still enjoy the confessional poetry of Sexton, Plath, and crew, I’ve broadened my poetic tastes.

Nevertheless, when I recalled this opening line from Sexton’s poem, I found it quite fitting for this blog. So, here is the poem in full:

Said the Poet to the Analyst

My business is words. Words are like labels,
or coins, or better, like swarming bees.
I confess I am only broken by the sources of things;
as if words were counted like dead bees in the attic,
unbuckled from their yellow eyes and their dry wings.
I must always forget who one words is able to pick
out another, to manner another, until I have got
something I might have said...
but did not.
Your business is watching my words. But I
admit nothing. I worth with my best, for instances,
when I can write my praise for a nickel machine,
that one night in Nevada: telling how the magic jackpot
came clacking three bells out, over the lucky screen.
But if you should say this is something it is not,
then I grow weak, remembering how my hands felt funny
and ridiculous and crowded with all
the believing money.

And thank you, Anne Sexton, for writing at least one poem not filled with images of death, abortion, or menstruation. I appreciate.

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