A favorite poem offering #5 – “The Room of My Life” by Anne Sexton

I am actually not all that familiar with the works of Anne Sexton. At least, not as well as I should be. She is similar to Sylvia Plath in many ways, and I love Sylvia Plath. I should love Anne Sexton just as much.

Well, let me put it this way – I haven’t read The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton in a long time. I should really read it again.

However, this poem has always stood out to me. When I was away at college for the first time, I had this posted on my dorm room door. Don’t know if any of the other girls read it, but it was just interesting of me to post it there – while the other girls had photos and noteboards and streamers on their doors, I had this poem.


by Anne Sexton

in the room of my life
the objects keep changing.
Ashtrays to cry into,
the suffering brother of the wood walls,
the forty-eight keys of the typewriter
each an eyeball that is never shut,
the books, each a contestant in a beauty contest,
the black chair, a dog coffin made of Naugahyde,
the sockets on the walls
waiting like a cave of bees,
the gold rug
a conversation of heels and toes,
the fireplace
a knife waiting for someone to pick it up,
the sofa, exhausted with the exertion of a whore,
the phone
two flowers taking root in its crotch,
the doors
opening and closing like sea clams,
the lights
poking at me,
lighting up both the soil and the laugh.
The windows,
the starving windows
that drive the trees like nails into my heart.
Each day I feed the world out there
although birds explode
right and left.
I feed the world in here, too,
offering the desk puppy biscuits.
However, nothing is just what it seems to be.
My objects dream and wear new costumes,
compelled to, it seems, by all the words in my hands
and the sea that bangs in my throat.


My favorite lines are the ones about the typewriter and the sea (the last line).

Love it.



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