Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Starry Night Poem Response

Anne Sexton

That does not keep me from having a terrible need of -- shall I say the word -- religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.

--Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother

The town does not exist
except where one black-haired tree slips
up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die.

It moves. They are all alive.
Even the moon bulges in its orange irons
to push children, like a god, from its eye.
The old unseen serpent swallows up the stars.
Oh starry starry night! This is how
I want to die:

into that rushing beast of the night,
sucked up by that great dragon, to split
from my life with no flag,
no belly,
no cry. My Response:

  In class we read the starry night. After reading this poem a few lines i had a few thoughts about the poem. For one i think the poet is trying to tell us that she is accepts death.She doesn't fear it at all she basically embraces it. So some line like 'The unseen serpent","that great dragon","beast of the night" to mean all of this sayings/descriptions shows powerful forces which i think she longs to surrendered to. She is like showing suicidal power  in her poem. Like the stanza that says "to split" it adds some compactions and difficulties towards the poem. The word"split" doesn't mean destroy in this poem but it actually means to break into many pieces.
       Also the stanza that says "no belly" can mean a few things. It can mean that she will have no belly literally,or that the word belly can refer to womb,and can also mean "inside". Saying that she has no inside, its a form of destruction. I think that the poet longs to become part of the sky, not literally but that saying has a religious meaning towards it. But i think he desperation for suicide, isn't for religion but for the need of infinite glory and power. This poem shows a mixture of both suicide, surrender, control, how she wants her life to end.
      The poem talks about the nature of life and the embrace of death.To me this poem just has a lot of power and strength towards it in the poem. it really grabs your attention.

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