Sunday, November 21, 2010


"Words bother me. I think it is why I am a poet. I keep trying to force myself to speak of the things that remain mute inside. My poems only come when I have almost lost the ability to utter a word. To speak, in a way, of the unspeakable. To make an object out of the chaos ... To say what ? a final cry into the void?"

Anne Sexton, Letter to Brother Dennis Farrell, August 2, 1963, from Anne Sexton, A Self-Portrait in Letters, Edited by Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames.

The book is highly recommended.

Anne was confused and depressed, but she certainly channelled that into some writing of beauty. I wonder if the near loss of speech was a kind of concentration, a burrowing down into herself until she struck such a chord in herself that music poured fourth. I don't particularly think that art requires suffering, it just seems to. (Although I can't see a lot of superficial evidence that Picasso was tortured. One wonders how such a first-class narcissist could have come up with Guernica.)

I could so wander in various musing directions, but I am trying to make an "object" out of "chaos" ... the object being a neater, less distracting apartment. Everywhere I look I see something else I have to "do" which certainly diverts me from the writing and the yoga.


  1. Neater is better, I find...and if I'm driven to neaten up rather than work, I do. Maybe I'm weak, but I find it seems to help my sense of well-being. Re art: I'm not sure it requires neurosis, but I think it does require real looking and listening...distraction is my biggest enemy.

  2. I agree with Louise G. It is just damn practical Feng Shui! Neater is good for clearing out the old and letting in the new energy.