Monday, July 16, 2012

Anne Sexton: "Belief Undoes Your Disbelief"

Well, my Darlings, I have been diagnosed with a severe Case of the Mondays, a disease often mistaken for General Bitchiness. In an effort to overcome my illness, I decided to devote a bit of my morning to Anne Sexton. In case, you weren't aware, Sexon was a Pulitzer Prize winning confessional poet from Newton Massachusetts (fun fact: Fig Newtons were named after that town. You don't like Fig Newtons? Well, too damn bad. Does it really hurt you to know a little trivia? Go educate yourself.) whose work centered around her personal life and battles with chronic depression (i.e., confessional poetry). Dead or not, for me, anyone who declares "Only my books anoint me, and a few friends, those who reach into my veins", is a kindred spirit. What makes Sexton's work stand out, in my humble, is the way she allows her reader to see so much of her personal pain. One of my favorite Sexton quotes comes from her poem "Admonitions to Someone Special": Love? Be it man. Be it woman. /It must be a wave you want to glide in on, give your body to it, give your laugh to it, /give, when the gravelly sand takes you, your tears to the land. To love another is something /like prayer and can't be planned, you just fall into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.” Because your belief undoes your disbelief. Maybe Sexton has it. Maybe that's what love is. To have faith in another person despite your disbelief in the goodness of humanity. To trust someone after you've been burned so many times you thought yourself numb. "Give your body to it, give your laugh to it."  In my experience, very few people have the ability to get your veins and dismantle your disbelief. If and when someone does you probably shouldn't let that person go.

1 comment:

  1. I'd never heard of Anne Sexton till tonight when I heard a part of this passage quoted on a bad tv show. I googled the part about belief undoing disbelief, because I thought it was brilliant, and came upon your blog. I think you're pretty damn funny, articulate and intelligent...and it gives me hope that this waitress might also someday be learned enough to write with authority on any particular subject and make people laugh in the process.