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This Business of WordsReassessing Anne Sexton$
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Amanda Golden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062204

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062204.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Poet Has Collapsed

The Poet Has Collapsed

Coming to Terms with Anne Sexton’s Late Poetics and Public Persona

(p.196) 8 The Poet Has Collapsed
This Business of Words

Jeffery Conway

University Press of Florida

“The Poet Has Collapsed” is a sober assessment of Sexton’s later work, specifically the poems written after those included in Transformations. It examines three areas of concern: first, the overuse of particular tropes in The Book of Folly, The Death Notebooks, The Awful Rowing Toward God, and 45 Mercy Street, second, the plethora of failed figurative language and images in those collections, and third, the performative aspect of Sexton’s reading style and public persona in the latter part of her life. It delves into Conway’s fascination with the recordings of Sexton reading her poems, as well as her larger-than-life persona. He explores his own mixed feelings for Sexton’s later work, describing what happens when profound admiration for the poet and the concept of “Bad Anne” collide.

Keywords:   Public persona, The Death Notebooks, The Book of Folly, The Awful Rowing Toward God, 45 Mercy Street, Transformations, Anne Sexton

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