Katha Pollitt on: "The Awful Rowing"
Like Sylvia Plath, with whom she is often paired, Anne Sexton arouses strong feelings of popular adulation and critical unease. How could it have been otherwise? At a time when American poetry was nearly as male-dominated as football, she wrote frankly, extravagantly and without apology about the experience of women. Scarcely less important, she was a democrat practicing the most snobbish of arts. While most of her colleagues were scholars and critics and translators with university affiliations, she was a junior-college dropout and suburban matron who began writing poetry after watching a television program called How to Write a Sonnet. With her recurrent bouts of madness, her suicide attempts (she finally succeeded in 1974), her flamboyant sexuality and her vibrant physical presence on the poetry-reading circuit, she fit as no poet since Dylan Thomas the popular stereotype of the self-destructive genius--beautiful, damned and oh-so-sensitive. It was a role she exploited to the hilt.
From "The Awful Rowing" The Nation (1981)
|Title||Katha Pollitt on: "The Awful Rowing"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Katha Pollitt||Criticism Target||Anne Sexton|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||02 Mar 2016|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||The Awful Rowing|
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