Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Admonitions to a Special Person by Anne Sexton

Admonitions to a Special Person

Watch out for power,
for its avalanche can bury you,
snow, snow, snow, smothering your mountain.

Watch out for hate,
it can open its mouth and you'll fling yourself out
to eat off your leg, an instant leper.

Watch out for friends,
because when you betray them,
as you will,
they will bury their heads in the toilet
and flush themselves away.

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.

Watch out for games, the actor's part,
the speech planned, known, given,
for they will give you away
and you will stand like a naked little boy,
pissing on your own child-bed.

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 end.

Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can't be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.

Special person,
if I were you I'd pay no attention
to admonitions from me,
made somewhat out of your words
and somewhat out of mine.
A collaboration.
I do not believe a word I have said,
except some, except I think of you like a young tree
with pasted-on leaves and know you'll root
and the real green thing will come.

Let go. Let go.
Oh special person,
possible leaves,
this typewriter likes you on the way to them,
but wants to break crystal glasses
in celebration,
for you,
when the dark crust is thrown off
and you float all around
like a happened balloon.

[Note to the fucking reader: I just dig this shit. Anne Sexton is one of my favorite poets. She always nails it.]


Jeannie said...

This is interesting stuff. I don't read poetry generally. I used to when I was young but then I got cynical. There's too much really bad shit out there. And then I read way too fast to figure out what it is they're saying. Maybe after my little holiday I'll be in a better frame of mind.

Ms. Moon said...

I agree. She weaves words into tapestries of meanings.

Anonymous said...

This I like. Thanks for sharing it.

All the best, Boonie

Sarcastic Bastard said...

And thank you for reading, my friend.

Syd said...

Lots of admonitions here. But it is better to have loved I believe, regardless of how painful it is.

Petit fleur said...

I adore her. She was and still is among my faves.


ZenGato said...

I love poetry and she is one of my favorites. Good choice.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Me, too. And also, she was fucking beautiful. I have a crush.

NH said...

I like that poem too. Except for some reason I feel like the words "special person" aren't strong enough. I love the whole thing but I wish she had labeled it differently, I don't know with what you could replace it. But I know what she's saying, I just think it's more than special, maybe, I guess. My dad went to BU and she taught one of his poetry classes. I remember my parents talking about her; her and Howard Zinn taught there. Legends. They were some lucky bastards, my parents, growing up seeing Bob Dylan at little bars in Harvard Square, and Joan Baez. The best I have managed is Jack White and I didn't even get to throw my bra at him or some shit. Oh, wait, I sat next to Cindy Crawford at a Tommy show once. What a fricken treat, right?

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Anne Sexton is brilliant. I love this. I like "and every part of you says yes including the toes." I always wiggle my toes when I fancy someone! Thanks for sharing xx

Unknown said...

Amy Schumer's favorite poem :) Says so in her book.