Sunday, March 4, 2007

Anne Sexton

But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build....
The impulse to suicide would lead to death by carbon monoxide poisoning in 1974, on her forty-sixth birthday. Sexton's other compulsions -- alcohol, cigarettes, pills, and men -- made life for her and her family a harrowing experience, if her daughter's memoir (Searching For Mercy Street, Linda Grey Sexton, 1994) is any measure. Still, they could cause a laugh: Sexton once discovered that her purse was so heavy because it contained 55 Bic lighters.