I am in the mood for some Anne Sexton right now.
I have always loved this poem of hers. I know that many read this work as a testament to the mental illness that she fought; the illness that eventually won. But I see something else when I read this poem. I see the freak. I see the misunderstood, the strong, the brave, the woman as ‘other’; always persecuted, never human, and never, ever quite home. I have been her kind.
I have gone out, a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night; dreaming evil, I have done my hitch over the plain houses, light by light: lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind. A woman like that is not a woman, quite. I have been her kind. I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods; fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves: whining, rearranging the disaligned. A woman like that is misunderstood. I have been her kind. I have ridden in your cart, driver, waved my nude arms at villages going by, learning the last bright routes, survivor where your flames still bite my thigh and my ribs crack where your wheels wind. A woman like that is not ashamed to die. I have been her kind.