Anne Sexton Poems

Anne Sexton was a well-loved confessional poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1967. The winning collection, Live or Die, is commonly considered to be her best. Her poetry engages with themes of depression, relationships, and suicide. Read more about Anne Sexton.


by Anne Sexton

‘Rowing’ by Anne Sexton is a moving and unforgettable poem about depression. It was written two years before Sexton took her life in 1974.

'Rowing' is a classic example of Sexton's confessional style, often addressing difficult subjects like mental illness, sexuality, and suicide. Her poetry is known for its frankness and emotional honesty and has significantly influenced American poetry.

A story, a story!

(Let it go. Let it come.)

I was stamped out like a Plymouth fender

into this world.

First came the crib

Explore more poems from Anne Sexton

After Auschwitz

by Anne Sexton

‘After Auschwitz’ by Anne Sexton explores the poet’s emotional reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust and her plea to God to hear her.


by Anne Sexton

‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton tells the story of Cinderella while also engaging with the theme of feminism and focusing on a very different ending.


by Anne Sexton

‘Courage’ by Anne Sexton conveys the different ways in which a person can show courage, ranging from the seemingly insignificant to the much more heroic.

From the Garden

by Anne Sexton

‘From the Garden’ by Anne Sexton is a peaceful poem in which the speaker describes how beneficial it is to spend time in nature.

Her Kind

by Anne Sexton

‘Her Kind’ by Anne Sexton is a thought-provoking poem in which a woman discusses and celebrates her individuality and all the things that set her apart from others.

Red Roses

by Anne Sexton

‘Red Roses’ by Anne Sexton is a story of child abuse told by a narrator, but with the vernacular, that represents the emotions and thoughts of the child undergoing the abuse.

The Firebombers

by Anne Sexton

‘The Firebombers’ by Anne Sexton is an unforgettable poem. In it, the speaker addresses America and the murders the country commits. This includes the deaths of women and children.

The Moss of His Skin

by Anne Sexton

‘The Moss of His Skin’ by Anne Sexton is an unforgettable poem about a young girl who is buried next to her father.

The Starry Night

by Anne Sexton

‘The Starry Night’ by Anne Sexton is an ekphrastic that explores Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. It delves into the emotions that a speaker interprets in the painted elements.

The Truth the Dead Know

by Anne Sexton

‘The Truth the Dead Know’ by Anne Sexton is an emotional poem that speaks about traditions and attitudes around death, as well as Sexton’s response to loss in her own life.

The Witch’s Life

by Anne Sexton

‘The Witch’s Life’ is a poem about understanding the process of aging and becoming someone that you never expected to in your youth.

Wanting to Die

by Anne Sexton

‘Wanting to Die’ by Anne Sexton is a poem about the poet’s desire to take her own life. It was written close to ten years before she committed suicide. 

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