Anne Sexton


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American poet, was born into a privileged Massachusetts family. Following an early elopement, children, and a breakdown, she started to write poetry as therapy. She attended R. Lowell's classes with Plath, with whom she shares the use of a dramatic, apparently confessional ‘I’, and the thematic territory of family life, jealous passion, and mental illness. Her early work makes dynamic use of strict poetic form, but, from the Pulitzer Prize‐winning Live or Die (1966), this is replaced by free verse which relies on dense, sometimes surreal, metaphors, wit, and rhythmic lists for impact. Her later work is increasingly haunted by a troubled relationship with God. She had particular success with her adaptation of Grimm, Transformations (1971). Collected Poems was published in 1981, Selected Poems in 1988.

Subjects: Literature.

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