Poem Starting With a Line by Anne Sexton

For Miz Quickly’s Impromptu Poetry Day 25: “Poem Starting with a Line by _______” is your title.


Poem Starting With a Line by Anne Sexton

Kind Sir: This is an old game.
One darts ahead leaving whispered trail
of laughter, while other must scent the air
for what was there just a moment ago.

Is it kindness to have to be one or the other?
Must we choose and then move to follow
sound of laughter, or curl deep into hiding place
keeping true face turned away, out of sight?

Must we always be either seeking or caught?
Simply becoming a shadow of self
slipping through an ever deepening
maze of questioning darkness.

Can’t we just be here together in sunlight,
talking as we walk down an unknown city street,
or deep in a forest of trees where leaves
hide singing birds who only know of being?

Please sir, must we play this game at all?

Elizabeth Crawford  4/25/13

First line by Anne Sexton from her poem Kind Sir: These Woods.
Full poem may be found here:

Image is an inverted pen and ink line drawing with a digitally manipulated background.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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12 Responses to Poem Starting With a Line by Anne Sexton

  1. Like the direction you took with this poem. Not a great fan of Ann Sexton, this is nicely done.


  2. annell4 says:

    A wonderful thoughtful poem!


  3. margo roby says:

    The image!!!

    I think it’s fun you kicked off with an Anne Sexton line. I like where you kicked to, the questions that are the game and the biggest question of all at the end.


  4. Pamela says:

    Elizabeth, I love the questioning and the entire piece. Beautiful.



  5. Stan Ski says:

    Sometimes it’s not easy to take sides… especially when we’re just playing!


  6. Sherry Marr says:

    Beautiful, Elizabeth…….I especially love the last stanza……never could get the hang of “games” myself – could never see the point.


  7. Marianne says:

    I’ve never liked “playing games” either, Elizabeth. It’s such a foolish waste of time. I especially love this stanza:
    “Must we always be either seeking or caught?
    Simply becoming a shadow of self
    slipping through an ever deepening
    maze of questioning darkness.”


  8. brenda w says:

    Oh please, oh please, oh please let’s… you have no idea,the feel I have for this piece right now. Although my game player is a woman.


  9. brenda w says:

    I’ve read this piece a second and third time. An important relationship in my life has been damaged because I have finally allowed myself to be direct with someone with whom I have deep roots. She is my mentor and friend. I feel the dance with this woman whom I both love and fear play out in your words.


  10. julespaige says:

    I really admire the smart birds knowing how to be. Games – we seem to always be playing at something, whether it is cleaning out a closet or waiting in line at the grocery store.
    Nice line drawing. I see some different detailing in the center – reminds me of moon phases.


  11. Mary says:

    I like the idea of simply “talking as we walk down an unknown street” rather than being involved in the games so often played…..


  12. Mr. Walker says:

    Elizabeth, wow! Where you took that idea of kindness – and the questions. The unkindness of doing – and the kindness of being – you’ve expressed that so beautifully.



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