Book Review: The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton

29245213The Complete Poems
by Anne Sexton

Summary from Goodreads:

The collected works of Anne Sexton showcase the astonishing career of one of the twentieth century’s most influential poets

For Anne Sexton, writing served as both a means of expressing the inner turmoil she experienced for most of her life and as a therapeutic force through which she exorcised her demons. Some of the richest poetic descriptions of depression, anxiety, and desperate hope can be found within Sexton’s work. The Complete Poems, which includes the eight collections published during her life, two posthumously published books, and other poems collected after her death, brings together her remarkable body of work with all of its range of emotion.

With her first collection, the haunting To Bedlam and Part Way Back, Sexton stunned critics with her frank treatment of subjects like masturbation, incest, and abortion, blazing a trail for representations of the body, particularly the female body, in poetry. She documented four years of mental illness in her moving Pulitzer Prize–winning collection Live or Die, and reimagined classic fairy tales as macabre and sardonic poems in Transformations. The Awful Rowing Toward God, the last book finished in her lifetime, is an earnest and affecting meditation on the existence of God. As a whole, The Complete Poems reveals a brilliant yet tormented poet who bared her deepest urges, fears, and desires in order to create extraordinarily striking and enduring art.

TSR My Review

I’ve always been drawn to confessional poetry, so inevitably one of the first poets I came across when I started researching this genre was Anne Sexton.  I was immediately addicted.  Anne Sexton was a brilliant poet with a brutally honest voice and I was hooked.  The first book I bought of hers is proof of this -every other page is dog-eared and about 90% of it is highlighted.  I am still fascinated by her poetry and how she never shied away from any topic.  Her life, heartbreaking and tumultuous is basically chronicled in her collection of poems throughout the years.

The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton is exactly what it claims to be.  It is a massive and truly complete collection. This book is an absolute must have!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

5 out of 5 stars

5 stars

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