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Re: Minute narratives

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  • louise
    Warren, I think for me it is a poem of ultimate bewilderment, and accordingly provides some reassurance, that the questions raised by living are not easily
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 2, 2008
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      Warren, I think for me it is a poem of ultimate bewilderment, and
      accordingly provides some reassurance, that the questions raised by
      living are not easily answered by everyone. Really, this ought to be
      obvious, so my quoting Anne Sexton's work without comment like that
      probably only signified my own state of depression at the time.
      Lewis Wolpert explains in his book that he views this mental
      condition as "sadness out of control", and that "sadness is to
      depression what normal growth is to cancer". Hence the volume's
      title. Louise

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "wot53_2000" <wot53_2000@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Louise, what was the context of Anne Sexton's poem?
      >
      > Do you see the poem as a faith statement? Like ultimate rescue?
      > Or is it just a poem of struggle for life and meaning.
      > I'll research her more.
      >
      > Warren
      >
      > *********************
      >
      >
      > One of the volumes I've come away with
      > > and am currently reading is Lewis Wolpert's "Malignant Sadness:
      The
      > > Anatomy of Depression". In a chapter dealing with suicide he
      > quotes
      > > this poem by Anne Sexton, which I think well worth reproducing
      > here,
      > > without further comment:
      > >
      > >
      > > The Sickness Unto Death
      > >
      > > God went out of me
      > > as if the sea dried up like sandpaper,
      > > as if the sun became a latrine.
      > > God went out of my fingers.
      > > They became stone.
      > > My body became a side of mutton
      > > and despair roamed the slaughterhouse.
      > >
      > > Someone brought me oranges in my despair
      > > but I could not eat one
      > > for God was in that orange.
      > > I could not touch what did not belong to me.
      > > The priest came,
      > > he said God was even in Hitler.
      > > I did not believe him
      > > for if God were in Hitler
      > > then God would be in me.
      > > I did not hear the bird sounds.
      > > They had left.
      > > I did not see the speechless clouds,
      > > I saw only the little white dish of my faith
      > > breaking in the crater.
      > > I kept saying:
      > > I've got to have something to hold on to.
      > > People gave me Bibles, crucifixes,
      > > a yellow daisy,
      > > but I could not touch them,
      > > I who was a house of bowel movement,
      > > I who was a defaced altar,
      > > I who wanted to crawl toward God
      > > could not move nor eat bread.
      > > So I ate myself,
      > > bite by bite,
      > > and the tears washed me,
      > > wave after cowardly wave,
      > > swallowing canker after canker
      > > and Jesus stood over me looking down
      > > and He laughed to find me gone,
      > > and put his mouth to mine
      > > and gave me His air.
      > >
      > > My kindred, my brother, I said
      > > and gave the yellow daisy
      > > to the crazy woman in the next bed.
      > >
      >
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