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'December 18th' / Anne Sexton

So here's a muscular, sexy poem from Anne Sexton for the beginning of Spring. It's the last poem in her 1969 sequence "Eighteen Days Without You" - the day before her lover returns. Sexton is famous as a confessional poet, and this poem has some of the same syntactical jumping as John Berryman, another of that school. But re-reading Sexton, I am struck by the bravery and unbashful brio of her writing. There is none of the tiptoeing that bedevils contemporary poetry about sex. It's messy and conflicted and yet very alive.


Swift boomerang, come get!

I am delicate. You've been gone.

The losing has hurt me some, yet

I must bend for you. See me arch. I'm turned on.

My eyes are lawn-coloured, my hair brunette.


Kiss the package, Mr. Bind!

Yes? Would you consider hurling yourself

upon me, rigorous but somehow kind?

I am laid out like paper on your cabin kitchen shelf.

So draw me a breast. I like to be underlined.


Look, lout! Say yes!

Draw me like a child. I shall need

merely two round eyes and a small kiss.

A small o. Two earrings would be nice. Then proceed

to the shoulder. You may pause at this.


Catch me. I'm your disease.

Please go slow all along the torso

drawing beads and mouths and trees

and o's, a little graffiti and a small hello

for I grab, I nibble, I lift, I please.


Draw me good, draw me warm.

Bring me your raw-boned wrist and your

strange, Mr. Bind, strange stubborn horn.

Darling, bring with this an hour of undulations, for

this is the music for which I was born


Lock in! Be alert, my acrobat

and I will be soft wood and you the nail

and we will make firey ovens for Jack Sprat

and you will hurl yourself into my tiny jail

and we will take supper together and that

will be that.

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8 Comments


Yvette Lynch
Yvette Lynch
Feb 09, 2023

That was hot!!

Thanks for

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patti G
patti G
Feb 09, 2023

No inhibitions here , sheer girl power, brilliant!!🧡🧡

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Gill Gray
Gill Gray
Feb 08, 2023

Hard not to be present in her moment, and feel her passion.

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Alistair Appleton
Alistair Appleton
Feb 09, 2023
Replying to

Exactly. It’s almost awkward to be reading it. 😳

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Anne Sexton. I believe Peter Gabriel’s wonderful song “Mercy Street” is about her.

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Alistair Appleton
Alistair Appleton
Feb 08, 2023
Replying to

Yea, I seem to remember that. Beautiful song.

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Anne Kingston
Anne Kingston
Feb 08, 2023

Wonderfully delicious

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Alistair Appleton
Alistair Appleton
Feb 08, 2023
Replying to

Isn’t it?

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