Anne Sexton Wanting To Die Analysis

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Anne Sexton belongs to the group of poets usually regarded as’’ confessional poets’’. She uses her poetry as a means to express her sufferings, mental illness and desire for death. The poem ‘’Wanting to Die’’ published in Sexton’s third collection of poems, Live or Die, demonstrates her obsession with death. It is also her literary suicide note as Sylvia Plath wrote Edge, few days before her death. In this poem, she discusses the reasons to commit suicide and her fascination for it with a person who has asked her about it. The poem begins as a kind of dialogue between poet and the unknown questioner. Autobiographical overtones are also evident here. Her childhood was full of sufferings. She was attached to her maiden great-aunt. Her parents…show more content…
[When speaker] is forced to use a metaphorical language, an analogy with something ordinary that the hearer will understand. Now the speaker must the arduous task of translating from a foreign language’’. ‘’ But suicides have a special language’’ and the people having suicidal tendencies are unable to fully comprehend its essence. Our day to day language has not that much capacity to express the desire of suicide fully. Therefore, Sexton uses various analogies and metaphors suggesting that the discourse of suicide cannot be articulated in ordinary language. Using an analogy of carpenter, she hints at the process of construction. To attempt suicide is actually an attempt towards self-construction and self-discovery. The poem is an attempt to use metaphors and analogies in order to translate the desire of suicide. But the poem ends at the images which are very shocking and tricky. ‘’Suicides sometimes meet/ raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,// leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,// leaving the page of the book carelessly open,/ something unsaid, the phone off the hook/ and the love, whatever it was, an infection’’(28-33). Diana George Hume points out that this inability of translation makes the poem itself a suicide
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