Wednesday, 26 March 2008

anne sexton

Music Swims Back To Me

Wait Mister. Which way is home?
They turned the light out
and the dark is moving in the corner.
There are no sign posts in this room,
four ladies, over eighty,
in diapers every one of them.
La la la, Oh music swims back to me
and I can feel the tune they played
the night they left me
in this private institution on a hill.
Imagine it. A radio playing
and everyone here was crazy.
I liked it and danced in a circle.
Music pours over the sense
and in a funny way
music sees more than I.
I mean it remembers better;
remembers the first night here.
It was the strangled cold of November;
even the stars were strapped in the sky
and that moon too bright
forking through the bars to stick me
with a singing in the head.
I have forgotten all the rest.
They lock me in this chair at eight a.m.
and there are no signs to tell the way,
just the radio beating to itself
and the song that remembers
more than I. Oh, la la la,
this music swims back to me.
The night I came I danced a circle
and was not afraid.


Dave King said...

Intriguing! I don't think I can do justice to it just at the moment, but I shall come again.

Sorlil said...

funnily enough I've never been overly keen on Sexton despite being a huge Plath fan

swiss said...


when i was younger i was so into plath that i threw someone out of my house for being 'disparaging'. got less enchanted with her as the years went by. i'm not unconvinced it was related to plathites!

sexton i got into on a long stay in barcelona where the only books i had were robert hughes' barcelona and he collected works. possibly one of my favourite reading excursions!

these days i'm not so keen an the pair of them form a quartet with elizabeth bishop and adrienne rich that i like to browse thru when i'm in a certain mood

on the plath front i would recommend the movie sylvia. it got panned when it came out but i still like it

antonia said...

oh i saw Sylvia too and thought it was not too bad and rather gloomy. I can't decide whom I like more Plath or Sexton or Bishop or Rich. I think I like Edna St. Vincent Millay -

Sorlil said...

Plath was/is my first poetry love but I can't say I ever through anyone out of my house over her!! I did pick up an interesting biography of Sexton by Diane Wood Middlebrook. I've seen the Sylvia movie, just a shame they couldn't have her poetry in it but I thought Paltrow did well though they could have done with a more imposing figure for Ted.

swiss said...

i like st millay also. seems she's being wider read at themoment which is good

Sorlil said...

er...that should read threw not through!