• Creator
  • Rollie McKenna, 1918 - 13 Jun 2003
  • Created Date
  • 1961 (printed later)
  • Description
  • It is unfortunate that Anne Sexton’s career is so closely shadowed by that of Sylvia Plath. Both studied with Robert Lowell, both wrote poetry that ripped the scab off what it meant to be a woman in the 1950s, and both committed suicide in midlife. Sexton’s verse was not so much "confessional" as it was psychotherapeutic: a way to work out in language the traumas of the past and those of day-to-day living. Even more than Plath, her verse is ra... more
    It is unfortunate that Anne Sexton’s career is so closely shadowed by that of Sylvia Plath. Both studied with Robert Lowell, both wrote poetry that ripped the scab off what it meant to be a woman in the 1950s, and both committed suicide in midlife. Sexton’s verse was not so much "confessional" as it was psychotherapeutic: a way to work out in language the traumas of the past and those of day-to-day living. Even more than Plath, her verse is raw and aching. Worst of all, it didn’t work as a therapeutic strategy. Eight years after writing a poem called "Wanting to Die," she made the sad mistake of all suicides: hoping that her breath could be liberated by its stopping. less
  • Format
  • Gelatin silver print
  • Rights
  • National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Rollie McKenna
    © Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation, courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona Foundation