Power and the Powerless in Transformations

The Grimm fairy tales have been interpreted in endless ways since they were first written, and probably for good reason—the blood and gore of the original fairy tales do not necessarily make for ideal bedtime stories. However, Anne Sexton’s re-imaginings in her poetry collection Transformations are unique—slangy and irreverent, revealing new depths to the stories … Read morePower and the Powerless in Transformations

Jealousy in Jane Eyre, ‘For My Lover Returning to his Wife’, and ‘After the Lunch’

Across Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and ‘For My Lover, Returning to His Wife’ by Anne Sexton, jealousy is presented as both resulting in self-deprecation and anger. Whereas in ‘After the Lunch’ by Wendy Cope a form of love that does not contain jealousy, but does present love in a similar way to the form … Read moreJealousy in Jane Eyre, ‘For My Lover Returning to his Wife’, and ‘After the Lunch’

Fathers and Father Figures in Women’s Confessional Poetry

In his preface to Lyrical Ballads,William Wordsworth describes good poetry as being “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (6). The style of confessional poetry seems especially fitting to this description; to think that confessional poets merely transcribe powerful emotions onto paper is, however, a misconception. This paper attempts to examine the field and themes of … Read moreFathers and Father Figures in Women’s Confessional Poetry

Anne Sexton: A Poet of Personal Conflict and Self-Expression

“Live or die, but don’t poison everything”. These words were said by Anne Sexton, a 20th century poet, whose poems dealt with the complexities of her tragic personal life, including the dysfunctional and often disturbing relationships with her children, husband and parents. Born to a wealthy family in Massachusetts in 1928, Sexton dealt with severe … Read moreAnne Sexton: A Poet of Personal Conflict and Self-Expression

The Form and Meaning in “The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator”

“The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator” is a confessional poem by Anne Sexton, in which she explores her intimate feelings about masturbation during a post-break-up era in her life. The poem is noteworthy because of its ability to bring forth the taboo subject of female sexuality with an organized structure resembling that of a traditional … Read moreThe Form and Meaning in “The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator”

Love as Failed Imagination in ‘The Passion’ and in Sexton’s Poetry

The notion of love is something that evades language, yet has been a staple theme in literary works all over the world. Writers have struggled to express this abstract feeling in language and accord it with a definition so that it can finally be understood. However, in Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion and Anne Sexton’s poems, … Read moreLove as Failed Imagination in ‘The Passion’ and in Sexton’s Poetry

Religion in “With Mercy for the Greedy”

Anne Sextons confessional lyric poem, “With Mercy for the Greedy” (1962) displays many ways of how she interprets life around her. Sexton tries to believe in religion to have a sense of believing in something, mostly because of her friend “Ruth”, who urges her to go to a Catholic confessional. Sexton realizes that “Need is … Read moreReligion in “With Mercy for the Greedy”