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The Kiss

Anne Sexton

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opposing forces
Added by: Shawna
With Sexton's "The Kiss" I interpret the poem as being this grueling push and pull of opposing forces. There are some conventional displays of the power of love doing wonders for one's body, giving one a sense of purpose, making beautiful music, etc but I cannot help but notice some of the very violent and dissonant language she interjects among this description of new love. Her mouth " blooms like a cut" (and the only thing I can envisage a cut blooming with is blood....wierd), her body is "tearing" at its corners (not bursting forth with joy), she says to her lover "you did this" in such a curt manner as if accusing a criminal of misdeeds, and finally she says at the end "Darling, the composer has stepped INTO fire." I read this last line as the ultimate and most closely placed juxtaposition of opposite emotions rolled up INTO one relationship. She seems to be inferring to her lover that he has no idea what he is getting himself INTO when he does these "loving" things to her. Is this her warning to him that by getting involved with her only problems can ensue? Also, by beginning this dark foreshadowing with the prelude "darling" is a very tongue-in-cheek way of admitting to herself that the hand that feeds her also kills her.
Added by: Christin
I felt quite the opposite from Shawna. I feel that this poem is filled with intense passion. Basically, the speaker has discovered love when all she has had is rejection. Finally she is alive (RESURRECTED).
the kiss
Added by: melissah
a lover has renewed her, has helped her come alive again. she says it repeatedly, she compares herself to a boat that needed some work, that had no water beneath it. But, the lover "hoisted her, rigged her," put the boat at water again.

its a very passion filled poem. the ideas she presents are intensely beautiful. She compares what her lover does to her body like a symphony, and he the composer. Anne Sextons imagery and language are always exquisite.

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