The Best Anne Sexton quotes

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Anne Sexton was one of America’s most influential poets. She is famous for her poetry that dealt with themes such as mental illness, sexuality, and the human experience. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and books like The Collected Poems. Anne was born October 27th 1928 in Newton Massachusetts to parents who were both teachers. She suffered from severe depression throughout her life which led to multiple suicide attempts. In 1974 Anne died by suicide at the age of 45 after suffering from brain cancer. Her works are still relevant today because she wrote about deep personal experiences that others may be able to relate too even if they haven’t dealt with a similar situation themselves.
Here are the most known words from Anne Sexton.

We are glad to present you the strongest Small, White, Love, Women, Time, Life, Mouth, Heart quotes from Anne Sexton, and much more.


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About Anne Sexton

birth of the author

November 9, 1928

death of the author

October 4, 1974

occupation of the author


country of the author


movement of the author

Literary Movement:
Confessional Poetry


Women are born twice. — Anne Sexton

A woman / who loves a woman / is forever young. — Anne Sexton

A woman who writes feels too much. — Anne Sexton

Somebody who should have been born is gone. Yes, woman, such logic will lead to loss without death. Or say what you meant, you coward . . . this baby that I bleed. — Anne Sexton

women are born twice Anne Sexton quote

The man inside of woman ties a knot so that they will never again be separate. — Anne Sexton

Death, I need my little addiction to you. I need that tiny voice who, even as I rise from the sea, all woman, all there, says kill me, kill me. — Anne Sexton

When the cow gives blood and the Christ is born we must all eat sacrifices. We must all eat beautiful women. — Anne Sexton

Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, I find the effort useless. — Anne Sexton

I did not know the woman I would be nor that blood would bloom in me each month like an exotic flower, nor that children, two monuments, would break from between my legs. — Anne Sexton

a woman who loves a woman is forever young Anne Sexton quote

Take a woman talking, purging herself with rhymes, drumming words out like a typewriter, planting words in you like grass seed. You’ll move off. — Anne Sexton


I love the word warm. It is almost unbearable––so moist and breathlike. — Anne Sexton

The sanest thing in this world is love. — Anne Sexton

As it has been said: Love and a cough cannot be concealed. Even a small cough. Even a small love. — Anne Sexton

Yesterday I did not want to be borrowed but this is the typewriter that sits before me and love is where yesterday is at. — Anne Sexton

i love the word warm it is almost unbearable so moist and breathlike Anne Sexton quote

All who love have lied. — Anne Sexton

Love your self’s self where it lives. — Anne Sexton

Evil is maybe lying to God. Or better, lying to love. — Anne Sexton

I am teaching… This year it’s kind of like having a love affair with a rhinoceros. — Anne Sexton

To die whole, riddled with nothing but desire for it, is like breakfast after love. — Anne Sexton

the sanest thing in this world is love Anne Sexton quote

I think of myself as writing for one person, that one perfect reader who understands and loves. — Anne Sexton

To love another is somethinglike prayer and it can’t be planned, you just fallinto its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief. — Anne Sexton

Yet love enters my blood like an I.V., dripping in its little white moments. — Anne Sexton

I love you. You are closest to my heart, closer than any other human being. You are my extension. You are my prayer. You are my belief in God. For better or worse you inherit me. — Anne Sexton

Blind with love, my daughter has cried nightly for horses, those long–necked marchers and churners that she has mastered, any and all, reigning them in like a circus hand. — Anne Sexton

all who love have lied Anne Sexton quote

When I lie down to love, old dwarf heart shakes her head. Like an imbecile she was born old. — Anne Sexton

Watch out for love (unless it is true, and every part of you says yes including the toes), it will wrap you up like a mummy, and your scream won’t be heard and none of your running will run. — Anne Sexton

And my love stays bitterly glowing, spasms of it will not sleep, and I am helpless and thirsty and need shade but there is no one to cover me–not even God. — Anne Sexton

You lay, a small knuckle on my white bed; lay, that fist like a snail, small and strong at my breast. Your lips are animals; you are fed with love. At first, hunger is not wrong. — Anne Sexton

I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and white and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything. — Anne Sexton

love your self s self where it lives Anne Sexton quote


There is rust in my mouth,the stain of an old kiss. — Anne Sexton

Of course the New Testament is very small. Its mouth opens four times as out–of–date as a prehistoric monster, yet somehow man–made. — Anne Sexton

The Saints come, as human as a mouth, with a bag of God in their backs, like a hunchback, they come, they come marching in. — Anne Sexton

I am stuffing your mouth with your promises and watching you vomit them out upon my face. — Anne Sexton

My mouth blooms like a cut. — Anne Sexton

there is rust in my mouth the stain of an old kiss Anne Sexton quote

Watch out for intellect, because it knows so much it knows nothing and leaves you hanging upside down, mouthing knowledge as your heart falls out of your mouth. — Anne Sexton

Some women marry houses. It’s another kind of skin; it has a heart, a mouth, a liver and bowel movements. — Anne Sexton

The silence is death. It comes each day with its shock to sit on my shoulder, a white bird, and peck at the black eyes and the vibrating red muscle of my mouth. — Anne Sexton

I have forgiven all the old actors for dying. A new one comes on with the same lines, like large white growths, in his mouth. The dancers come on from the wings, perfectly mated. — Anne Sexton


Even without wars, life is dangerous. — Anne Sexton

even without wars life is dangerous Anne Sexton quote

This is no dream just my oily life where the people are alibis and the street is unfindable for an entire lifetime. — Anne Sexton

I wonder if the artist ever lives his life––he is so busy recreating it. — Anne Sexton

Life is a trick, Life is a kitten in a sack. — Anne Sexton

I’m hunting for the truth. It might be a kind of poetic truth, and not just a factual one, because behind everything that happens to you, there is another truth, a secret life. — Anne Sexton

I would like a simple life / yet all night I am laying / poems away in a long box. — Anne Sexton

i wonder if the artist ever lives his life he is so busy recreating it Anne Sexton quote

Poetry is my life, my postmark, my hands, my kitchen, my face. — Anne Sexton

I was trying my damnedest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can’t build little white picket fences to keep nightmares out. — Anne Sexton

My life has appeared unclothed in court, detail by detail, death–bone witness by death–bone witness, and I was shamed at the verdict. — Anne Sexton

The trouble with therapy is that it makes life go backwards. — Anne Sexton

Then all this became history. Your hand found mine. Life rushed to my fingers like a blood clot. Oh, my carpenter, the fingers are rebuilt. They dance with yours. — Anne Sexton

life is a trick life is a kitten in a sack Anne Sexton quote

I would sell my life to avoid the pain that begins in the crib with its bars or perhaps with your first breath when the planets drill your future into you. — Anne Sexton

Redundant Thematics

In Anne Sexton Statements


Unless I can shake myself free of my dog, my flag, of my desk, my mind, I find life a bit of a drag. Not always, mind you. Usually I’m like my frying pan useful, graceful, sturdy and with no caper, no plan. — Anne Sexton

I was a victim of the American Dream, the bourgeois, middle–class dream. All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children. — Anne Sexton


Images are the heart of poetry … You’re not a poet without imagery. — Anne Sexton

Big heart, wide as a watermelon, but wise as birth, there is so much abundance in the people I have. — Anne Sexton

images are the heart of poetry you re not a poet without imagery Anne Sexton quote

Look to your heart that flutters in and out like a moth. God is not indifferent to your need. You have a thousand prayers but God has one. — Anne Sexton

My heart is on a budget. It keeps me on the brink. — Anne Sexton

Maybe, although my heart is a kitten of butter, I am blowing it up like a zeppelin. — Anne Sexton

There is an animal inside me, clutching fast to my heart, a huge crab. — Anne Sexton

Images are probably the most important part of the poem. First of all you want to tell a story, but images are what are going to shore it up and get to the heart of the matter. — Anne Sexton

my heart is on a budget it keeps me on the brink Anne Sexton quote

The heart, this child of myself that resides in The flesh, this ultimate signature of The me, The start of my blindness and sleep, builds a death crèche. — Anne Sexton

Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open–heart surgery. — Anne Sexton

It is a dead heart. It is inside of me. It is a stranger yet once it was agreeable, opening and closing like a clam. — Anne Sexton

I will be steel! I will build a steel bridge over my need! I will build a bomb shelter over my heart! But my future is a secret. It is as shy as a mole. — Anne Sexton

And I. I too. Quite collected at cocktail parties, meanwhile in my head I’m undergoing open–heart surgery. — Anne Sexton

maybe although my heart is a kitten of butter i am blowing it up like a zeppelin Anne Sexton quote

The windows, the starving windows that drive the trees like nails into my heart. — Anne Sexton

Our eyes are full of terrible confessions. — Anne Sexton

My eyes, those sluts, those whores, would play no more. — Anne Sexton

Fear / a motor, / pumps me around and around / until I fade slowly. — Anne Sexton


In an old time there was a king as wise as a dictionary. — Anne Sexton

in an old time there was a king as wise as a dictionary Anne Sexton quote

Madness is a waste of time. It creates nothing. — Anne Sexton

I’m lost. And it’s my own fault. It’s about time I figured out that I can’t ask people to keep me found. — Anne Sexton

Once upon a time we were all born, popped out like jelly rolls forgetting our fishdom, the pleasuring seas, the country of comfort, spanked into the oxygens of death. — Anne Sexton

Today is made of yesterday, each time I steal toward rites I do not know, waiting for the lost ingredient, as if salt or money or even lust would keep us calm and prove us whole at last. — Anne Sexton

There is no word for time. Today we will not think to number another summer or watch its white bird into the ground. — Anne Sexton

madness is a waste of time it creates nothing Anne Sexton quote

I tied down time with a rope but it came back. Then I put my head in a death bowl and my eyes shut up like clams. They didn’t come back. — Anne Sexton

Now I am just an elderly lady who is full of spleen, who humps around greater Boston in a God–awful hat, who never lived and yet outlived her time, hating men and dogs and Democrats. — Anne Sexton

Every time I get happy the Nana–hex comes through. Birds turn into plumber’s tools, a sonnet turns into a dirty joke, a wind turns into a tracheotomy, a boat turns into a corpse. — Anne Sexton

Take your foot out of the graveyard, they are busy being dead. — Anne Sexton


Inside many of us is a small old man who wants to get out. — Anne Sexton

inside many of us is a small old man who wants to get out Anne Sexton quote

It is in the small things we see it. The child’s first step, as awesome as an earthquake. The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk. — Anne Sexton

Yes I try to kill myself in small amounts, an innocuous occupation. Actually I’m hung up on it. — Anne Sexton

My faith is a great weight hung on a small wire, as doth the spider hang her baby on a thin web. — Anne Sexton

Women tell time by the body. They are like clocks. They are always fastened to the earth, listening for its small animal noises. — Anne Sexton


One can’t build little white picket fences to keep nightmares out. — Anne Sexton

one can t build little white picket fences to keep nightmares out Anne Sexton quote

Until I was twenty–eight, I had a kind of buried self who didn’t know she could do anything but make white sauce and diaper babies. I didn’t know I had any creative depths. — Anne Sexton

Everyone has left me except my muse, that good nurse. She stays in my hand, a mild white mouse. — Anne Sexton

What a lay me down this is with two pink, two orange, two green, two white goodnights. — Anne Sexton

Emerald as heavy as a golf course, ruby as dark as an afterbirth, diamond as white as sun on the sea. — Anne Sexton

I think I’ve been writing black poems all along, wearing my white mask. I’m always the victim … but no longer! — Anne Sexton

what a lay me down this is with two pink two orange two green two white goodnights Anne Sexton quote

I was only sitting here in my white study with the awful black words pushing me around. — Anne Sexton

My sleeping pill is white. It is a splendid pearl; it floats me out of myself, my stung skin as alien as a loose bolt of cloth. — Anne Sexton

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