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Just Once

Anne Sexton

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Just Once
Added by: David
This is the first Sexton poem I read, and it still impresses and moves me each time I re-read it. The structure is so compact and complete, so subtly complex that it allows the theme to flow seemlessly in order that the emotional effect resonates longer and deeper. I think it's about the beautiful, transitory meaninglessness of life and all its supposed 'truths' and the particular way that being alone in a city at night can make one feel this. It is sublime, and a rare diamond amidst the rough of her more untamed, free verse works, which I also love, for their bold freedom and honesty. Bold honesty and free revelation are the keys to understanding the poems of Sexton.
just once
Added by: nee
i think this poem is about anne sexton's mental illness, and more specifically, mood changes. i think she was feeling uplifted and okay, but then suddenly she became depressed again and it made everything she'd previously believed in disappear. this poem is wonderful because not only does it show how fragile she is, but how she felt that she had 'collected' all these reasons to be ok, and they were just obliterated.
fairy taler
Added by: Linnea
it seems to me that anne sexton has used the metaphore of witches to represent mental illness. there's a stigma attached to mental illness even today, and you can imagine what it must have been like in sexton's time. she would've felt like a witch, i'm sure. she would've felt like she was being burned at the stake by everyone who didnt understand.

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