Poem – The Big Heart  – Anne Sexton 

Big heart,

wide as a watermelon, 

but wise as birth, 

there is so much abundance 

in the people I have: 

Max, Lois, Joe, Louise, 

Joan, Marie, Dawn, 

Arlene, Father Dunne, 

and all in their short lives 

give to me repeatedly, 

in the way the sea 

places its many fingers on the shore, 

again and again 

and they know me, 

they help me unravel, 

they listen with ears made of conch shells, 

they speak back with the wine of the best region. 

They are my staff. 

They comfort me. 
They hear how 

the artery of my soul has been severed 

and soul is spurting out upon them, 

bleeding on them, 

messing up their clothes, 

dirtying their shoes. 

And God is filling me, 

though there are times of doubt 

as hollow as the Grand Canyon, 

still God is filling me. 

He is giving me the thoughts of dogs, 

the spider in its intricate web, 

the sun 

in all its amazement, 

and a slain ram 

that is the glory, 

the mystery of great cost, 

and my heart, 

which is very big, 

I promise it is very large, 

a monster of sorts, 

takes it all in— 

all in comes the fury of love.

Poem – The Breast – Anne Sexton

This is the key to it. 

This is the key to everything. 

I am worse than the gamekeeper’s children 

picking for dust and bread. 

Here I am drumming up perfume. 
Let me go down on your carpet, 

your straw mattress – whatever’s at hand 

because the child in me is dying, dying. 
It is not that I am cattle to be eaten. 

It is not that I am some sort of street. 

But your hands found me like an architect. 
Jugful of milk! It was yours years ago 

when I lived in the valley of my bones, 

bones dumb in the swamp. Little playthings. 
A xylophone maybe with skin 

stretched over it awkwardly. 

Only later did it become something real. 
Later I measured my size against movie stars. 

I didn’t measure up. Something between 

my shoulders was there. But never enough. 
Sure, there was a meadow, 

but no yound men singing the truth. 

Nothing to tell truth by. 
Ignorant of men I lay next to my sisters 

and rising out of the ashes I cried 

my sex will be transfixed! 
Now I am your mother, your daughter, your brand new thing – a snail, a nest. 

I am alive when your fingers are. 
I wear silk – the cover to uncover – 

because silk is what I want you to think of. 

But I dislike the cloth. It is too stern. 
So tell me anything but track me like a climber 

for here is the eye, here is the jewel, 

here is the excitement the nipple learns. 
I am unbalanced – but I am not mad with snow. 

I am mad the way young girls are mad, 

with an offering, an offering… 
I burn the way money burns.