Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

Anne Sexton

‘Her Kind’ is from Sexton’s collection ‘To Bedlam and Part Way Back’. In July 1959, whilst looking for a keynote poem for the first section of the book, Sexton revisited an old, previously unpublished poem “Night Voice on a Broomstick’. One week and 19 pages of drafts later ‘Her Kind’ was born. From this point on, ‘Her Kind’ became her signature poem, the one with which Sexton began all her alcohol-fuelled poetry readings. (From Poem For The Day Two - Chatto and Windus, London 2005)

From ‘The Selected Poems of Anne Sexton’, Virago Press, reprinted 1993