Despite these fond childhood associations, Anne Sexton is the first biography I've read in years. But I'm so glad I did read it! Anne Sexton was one of the first poets to write "confessional" poetry about her own life, as opposed to the third-person, universal idea-centered poetry (think T.S. Eliot) that was preferred up until the late 60s'. She began to write poetry at the suggestion of her therapist, as a way to deal with her mental instability. She went through periods of depression and mania, and attempted suicide several times before succeeding in 1974, when she was only forty-five. (You know what's funny about biographies? People will read them even if they already know the ending.) But her discovery of poetry probably extended her life by many years, and gave the world many volumes of bizarre and original writing.
|My copy features a partially scraped-off price sticker!|
Anyway, I enjoyed this book for its detail, for its incorporation of letters, poems, and psychoanalysis into the narrative, and for the insight it gave me into the life of a great poet. I hoped when I started this book that I would learn some writing tips from Sexton, and I think that I did. Her life was often tragic and frustrating, but she made something special out of it in the form of her poetry.