The Fallen Angels by Anne Sexton

“Who are they”
“Fallen Angels who were not good enough to be
saved, nor bad enough to be lost” say the peasantry.

They come on to my clean
sheet of paper and leave a Rorschach blot.
They do not do this to be mean,
they do it to give me a sign
they want me, as Aubrey Beardsley once said,
to shove it around till something comes.
Clumsy as I am,
I do it.
for I am like them–
both saved and lost,
tumbling downward like Humpty Dumpty
off the alphabet.

Each morning I push them off my bed
and when they get in the salad
rolling in it like a dog,
I pick each one out
just the way my daughter
picks out the anchovies.
In May they dance on the jonquils,
wearing out their toes,
laughing like fish.
In November,
the dread month,
they suck the childhood out of the berries
and turn them sour and inedible.

Yet they keep me company.
They wiggle up life.
They pass out their magic
like Assorted Lifesavers.
They go with me to the dentist
and protect me from the drill.
At the same time,
they go to class with me
and lit to my students.

O fallen angel,
the companion within me,
whisper something holy
before you pinch me
into the grave.


I know, another Sexton poem? what can I say?
Beautiful and eerie photography by Alcholado.


One Response to “The Fallen Angels by Anne Sexton”

  1. Sarcastic Bastard Says:

    I love Anne, too. You have great taste.

    Love you. Hope all is well. Been meaning to drop you a line, but keep getting sidetracked here at work. It will happen eventually.



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