"The Truth the Dead Know"

I love the scene in the middle stanzas of this poem - especially the images she uses to create it - and the way she doesn't seem to feel the connection between June and bravery needs an explanation. Also the feeling in the last sentence, which I can't quite put a name on yet - not just grief.

The Truth the Dead Know
For my mother, born March 1902, died March 1959,
and my father, born February 1900, died June 1959

Gone, I say and walk from church,
refusing the stiff procession to the grave,
letting the dead ride alone in the hearse.
It is June. I am tired of being brave.

We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.

My darling, the wind falls in like stones
from the whitehearted water and when we touch
we enter touch entirely. No one's alone.
Men kill for this, or for as much.

And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
in their stone boats. They are more like stone
than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

-Anne Sexton

Lisa Chellman's hosting today's Poetry Friday round-up over at her place.


Q 7/11/2008 5:18 PM  

What a beautiful poem!

Sarah Louise 7/12/2008 6:39 AM  


Edge 7/14/2008 7:54 AM  

It's poignantly odd, if that makes sense. But I like it in a strange way.

Cuileann 7/14/2008 4:08 PM  

Yep, definitely a sensical phrase to describe some poetry. :)

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