Competition Ends 1st September 2019 9:13pm

More Than Myself

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Anne Sexton Tribute

Co-Host - JohnnyBlaze ( also the amazing artist who rendered Sexton's portrait )

Part XIX in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets in classical and modern literature.

Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974) was an American poet known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and intimate details from her private life.  

Her accomplishment and awards include:

1962: All My Pretty Ones published; nominated for National Book Award
          Levinson Prize from Poetry
1963: Traveling fellowship by American Academy of Arts and Letters
          Tour of Europe with neighbor Sands Robart
1965: Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, London. Received the first literary
          magazine travel award from the International Congress of Cultural Freedom.
1967: Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Live or Die
          Shelley Award from the Poetry Society
1969: Guggenheim Fellowship for work on play Mercy Street, produced at American Place
           Theater, New York City
1970:  Honorary doctor of letters, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
1972:  Promoted to full professor at Boston University
           Crashaw Chair in Literature at Colgate University
           Honorary doctor of letters, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton's manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975 (Middlebrook 396). On returning home she put on her mother's old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, ending her life by carbon monoxide poisoning.

In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in 20 days with "two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital." She went on to say that she would not allow the poems to be published before her death.

For more information, visit


Write a new poem honoring  Sexton inspired by any of her poems. Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Sexton. The more we feel you "capturing her essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.

The Rules

1. One entry per DUP persona.

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW.

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.

4. Any form ( including spoken word ) is acceptable ( studying the poet is advised ).  If you are submitting a spoken word, post the actual poem in the body of your post. We do have deaf members, and while they may not be able to listen, they can at least read and garner the essence of your submission.

5. Hashtag your poem #AnneSexton, and link to your poem here. Do NOT copy paste your poem to the competition. The point is to eventually direct visitors searching for Sexton to your poem via the hashtag we hope will eventually be implemented by the Webmiss.

6. In your poem's notes, provide a link to the poem(s) by Sexton  that inspired yours ( please do not forget this step - we have had wonderful entries which were disqualified for not adhering to this simple yet required step ).  

Comp will be judged by a panel including myself. You have one month; best of luck to all entrants.

This competition series will be promoted across our social network sites, and winners will be published on our Website:

Thought Provoker
United States
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( after Anne Sexton )

‘Death’, sounds almost tender
and childlike when I say the name,
rhyming as it does with ‘breath’,

A life force unlike, lesser the end,
when a door is pried open
with a common kitchen utensil.

I didn’t pay attention and failed,
leaving me to salvage
Plath’s words before her last,

When we’d speak of it many times,
as fireflies, like girlfriends,
sending up smoke rings to be the first.

Now I jealously guard the rite
while I still have life and a history,
and can recall all the words.

I’ll silently invoke the spell
in the cryptic speak of suicide
during a vintner’s year.

When the passion returns,
not meant for here, I’ll open the shed
and it will all be in front of me.

Written by Heaven_sent_Kathy
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jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 9th Nov 2015
Forum Posts: 4555


( *after Anne Sexton )  

In the deep black unfathomable  
where nothing burns of where there is no air,  
in the white ashes unreadable  
as others cannot see yet still they stare  
in evening’s wicked, winding stir.  
A female muse like that without a care.  
I have been like her.  
I possess, endowed, an evil spree,  
insanity, my bent of village spells  
on every inhabitant and flea;  
my brewing for the vermin with me dwells:  
from cavern home the smell’s allure.  
A female like that is a mystery.  
I have been like her.  
A rutted road where dreams awaken,  
I scan the scenery to memorize  
and see where I am being taken;  
the executioner I recognize:  
I hear the sounds of chain and spur.  
A female like that looks death in the eyes.  
I have been like her.  
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Forum Posts: 1324

Life Of The Party

Sultry as hell she was          
in that little black dress        
worn so delicately well        
given the sparse nesting        
of robin's egg breasts          
we were both born with        
I really don't know whether        
to be jealous or happy        
that she went to the party        
so much earlier without me        
I can't help being anything but  
What I'd settle for        
is a martini - the dirtier        
the better and sharing        
a cigarette straight from        
those terrible, morbid      
lips of hers        
while the boys in their suits        
huddle after another lecture        
solving the world's problems        
making the American Dream        
less of a destiny involving        
killing ourselves to manifest       
It was us against the world        
on the losing side, but still ...        
we made a great team        
Or so I thought        
Though our happiness          
never could be bought -        
the jewelry, the houses          
the children and spouses    
most of all -        
she left behind everything        
precious that should matter        
I'd like to think          
it's the reason I'm still here          
drinking alone        
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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Non entry

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 2852

Next month's poll to determine our featured male poet is up. Thank you for your vote.

Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 2852

More than Myself ( after Anne Sexton )

A certain charm adorns    
a gutter, you see its potential
when it becomes home;
rat breath inhaling your own—    
silence louder than death  
when that last dumpster slams shut.    
Decay is a familiar thing  
to the homeless—    
larger than life curling up    
inside their brick tomb at three AM.    
Hopelessness seems synonymous    
with vagrancy—    
our eyes squint through the dark  
at lumps of coal bodies, solid  
in earthly presence;  
yet, distant in spirit— as stars    
existing somewhere above smog.    
They are more than myself    
these beings    
in their capacity to survive.  
Fallen, impoverished Gods;  
angels among us unawares—    
weighing the balances    
to find us wanting  
in our capacity to love.    
Written by Ahavati
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Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 152

Damn You, Plath

I admit to it:  
falling in Love with you -
my Sister in Confessional Poetry  
( despite being married to Mister Sexton;  
indeferent of sexual orientation )  
for you hath stolen my heart  
with your dark art of perusing  
Death's panties for its clit's Mistress -  
be it Dolores, Jane, Sally - any woman  
one could meet on the street  
innumerable in the talley  

I'm tired, I'm beat  
from fighting, no longer reeling    
from overwhelming fits -
my vulva in a volta feeling
Tom-boyed, Dick-ed and Harri-ed
by you, dear Sylvia  
Written by MaryWalker
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non entry

Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 563

Feel Unattached

I wander through rooms
As if I remember the past
They are but cold empty shells  
Tombs of a life  
I have struggled to live  
Everything is dead inside  
A hollow pulse  
That almost resembles a human  
The heart devoid of feeling  
Just a dark abyss of apathy  
The world trundles on  
As I move in slow motion  
Things piling up around me  
The trash of another person  
Seemingly there to bury me  
I don’t ask my heart to beat  
Or my lungs to fill up with air  
Feel unattached to my body  
It’s a battle of mind over matter  
Whether I matter at all  
# Anne Sexton
Written by AspergerPoet56
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Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Joined 10th July 2017
Forum Posts: 11


One capsule  
two capsule,  
i’m a mouse exercising on his rusty wheel until a right dose magically appears, the white coats & long ties unaware of fresh slits gouged into my chest.  

One ignorance,  
two ignorance,  
the words that are vocalised simply from  
my lips seem to fall upon deaf ears, i’m  
inbetween purgatory with bones &  
skin for a rotating prison.  
Written by _boybrains
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Lost Thinker
United States
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Joined 26th Aug 2014
Forum Posts: 7

believe in me

All I've ever wanted was for someone to believe in me instead they all ended up leaving me my friends my ladies even some of my family I've never wanted anyone grieving me nor do I need anyone's sympathy it was true I was in a place I didn't. need to be where I needed to be is with my son he's the only one who needed me I was in a place I never planned to be yet it became my reality born and bread in poverty honestly what more did u expect from me let me guess to rise above and prevail my destiny since I haven't now everyone seems to think less of me BT u just wait watch and see I'll overcome then everyone will want to invest in me BT wat if I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be a life filled with turmoil and everybody loathing me shunned and told there's no hope for me BT once I rise above then I promise everyone will notice me
Written by theparadox86
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Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 230

End stops #Anne Sexton

 How clean the fresh dug grave
Empty footprints stamped from lifes arrears  
The tired franked stamps, torn out to save  
Wheelbarrow's punctured wheel collapsed  
 Weeds that choke untended crops  
 Shining bronze of desolation  
 Type prints shouting with your fixations  
A metronome of incarceration  
Times the hammer on the final nail  
Scattered ashes of dried hormones  
 Jigsaw scrabble that's your subliminal headphones  
 Black carrion crows to peck at your minds eye  
The strewn of all the dreams price tags  
Comes exhaustion, running out of options nag  
 Pipe dreams full of haemoglobins lead  
 The handbrake locked her resting place  
 # Attribution to a fixed point her wishes so disposed  
MY own brother to that place it seems so self engrossed
Written by slipalong
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Thank you to all who have entered so far.  We've really enjoyed reading the entries.  Please edit your entry themes to include #AnneSexton, as Webmiss has already created this month's hashtag.  Thank you again for your entries and to Webmiss for her hard work.

Dangerous Mind
United States
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Forum Posts: 201

Menstruation At Forty (Spider's Curse)

Stung to death,
an ill begotten fate,
sisters in tangled limb,
sisters in wombs' blood
rendered of yesterdays
remains still hunted.
Weaving angels
hover over the early death
trapped, entangled,
consumed in poison,
wrists bound together
praying for new life.
Son, beseeching
all I have acquired of you,
You, whom the dusky late hours have made,
You, whom I lusted for and listened for
rattling as bells toll,
clocks revealing our closeness in hour,
our embrace before  
the splitting apart of our loves' codependency.
I rock you inside the empty lull,
my quiet one,
unrecieved of longing,
bare of hearts' tethering,
a last siphoning from which
sisters in kind fall away.
weaving a web over your own,
a thin and tangled poison.
bad spider—

Written by PoetsRevenge
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Dangerous Mind
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Joined 2nd Feb 2017
Forum Posts: 330

For September's Classic Corner choice of female poet, how about one of the following?

Imtiaz Dharker? (b.1954, Pakistani-born British poet & documentary film-maker) {}

Carol Ann Duffy? (b.1955, poet laureate from 2009-2019) {}

Kathleen Jamie? (b.1962, Scottish poet) {}

... as three U.K poets.

(NB: This might be the last chance to use the phrase "U.K poets" before the U.K disintegrates in Brexit on 31st October)


Twisted Dreamer
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Forum Posts: 55

she shaves him

wary of the rite she shaves him
for it may surprise her how hot the towel needs to be
and its risk to lay delicate shroud upon his face
and press in both hands tender firm
some dark threat transmuted to trust her touch.

breaks of sea-foam ; returning ballast upon the swell
of tonglen tides cadenced

shave the face the chest,
unto white meadows
blade-scrape the grey wheat in some rash grace
towel-up the toxin’d stalks
and release their sheaves on the river

and when it falls,  they fall
for open pores long  cologne’s sting
its promise  a place other
a creature, red deer or a nightingales bay
that break this present's clasp because all he feels knows is her

Written by nomoth
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