Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Anne Sexton - 11/9/28 - 10/4/74 - Forest Hills - Boston

In the late fifties Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath were fellow students in a poetry class in Boston; after class, with a couple other students, they'd often go, in Anne's beat-up car, to the Ritz-Carlton bar.  Anne would park in the loading zone. One of her pals said, "You can't park here!" Anne said, "Why not? We're going to get loaded!" She sounds like fun to me and I'd like to have been there with them. Especially since they had very dry martinis. I can see the shallow conicality of the frosted glass, the elegant stem of it; the olives or the twist of lemon; I can taste a perfect perfectly dry martini.  But I hope I'd have had two at the most:

I like to have a martini,
two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under the host.
-- Dorothy Parker

Anne perhaps drank four. Already married, she had an affair with one of the young men who regularly joined them at the bar.

She wrote some great poems. Try "Ringing the Bells" ... try "Her Kind" ... or lots of others, lots of amazing stuff.

And then, some eleven years after Sylvia's London suicide, Anne drove into her suburban Boston garage, shut the garage's door and left the car's engine running. She went to where Sylvia had gone.

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