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For My Lover, Returning To His Wife

Anne Sexton

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More than Words
Added by: Venus
This poem has always been my favorite poem of Sexton's. From the first moment that I read this poem, I realized that it summerized the true essence of not only the poet, but of the person behind the poetry.

In 1966, Sexton wrote this poem while she was hospitalized for injuries suffered from a terrible fall down the stairway of her house, on the night of her birthday.

The poem is about the end of her love affair with her psychiatrist, Dr. Zweizung, who had devastated Sexton by ending the relationship when his wife discovered the love letters that Sexton and Zweizung had exchanged and had become enraged.

In contrast to Sexton's other relationships, the pain inflicted by the end of this particular affair was intense and long lasting.

As someone once commented, some wounds never heal, so we might as well just learn to live with the scars. This was certainly true with respect to how Sexton chose to "deal" with her pain.
Added by: Lori
I think this poem that Anne Sexton wrote tells the truth that it hurts to let go even if you know it is the best. Sometimes you dont want to listen to your heart but your gut feelings. At the end, she writes "As for me, I am a watercolor. I wash off" I think she is implying that the wife is forever and the love affair is not.
Universal truth
Added by: Amber
Anne Sexton is not merely commenting on her own personal life, she is revealing a truth about all womankind. She implies that there are two categories of women, wives and mistresses. Each woman knows from the time she is born which group she belongs to.
The obvious
Added by: Lisa G.
In this poem, Sexton seems to be informing her ex-lover that she was nothing more than a momentary amusement for him. However, this is something the ex-lover probably already knows, since as the title indicates, he is returning to his wife. What Sexton is really telling the ex-lover is that she is aware of what she was to him and isnít entertaining delusions that she and the ex-lover belong together. She does this as much for her own benefit, in order that she might fully let go of the relationship, as well as for the ex-loverís.

Sexton's concern for the ex-lover and her resolve to relinquish their ties despite her obvious feelings for him are what make this poem so touching, although I personally don't think this poem approaches her finest work. The last couple of lines are especially brutal in their honesty.
Added by: allee
This poem is extremely awesome, i didnt know this poem was a real life experience, i love the imagery of this poem


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