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August 8th

Anne Sexton

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2006-04-27
Added by: Kelsey
I believe this poem is referring to an alternate personality that Anne Sexton may have had as a child. After looking up the definition of waif I realized it could have two meanings in this poem. One definition, “a homeless or friendless person, especially an abandoned child”, I think is more likely the meaning than “a thin young person”. The alternate personality of the waif of a brother, the abandoned child, would relate to the last line “spooking my lonely hours you were there, but pretend”. I believe Anne Sexton is referring to her desperately lonely awkwardness as a child. This is a really depressing poem because it implies that the speaker had to invent an imaginary brother to do all of the usual (and unusual, in this poem anyway) things that children do.

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