Her Kind

The fourth poet chair for the museum that I made is Anne Sexton’s, based on her poem “Her Kind.”

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.

–Anne Sexton

Listen to Sexton read this poem. My chair looks rather Halloweenish, indeed, though the poem is not occasional at all. It is for all time, perhaps for all people but more likely for all women. It is an anthem for misunderstood and persecuted women. It is about being the “kind” that is whispered and gossiped about, made fun of, scorned, and killed.

Not a Halloween poem but there are all kinds of horrors in our world.

–Shaun Perkins


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