“Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.”
Live Or Die, Mercy Street
Anne Sexton's Biography
Anne Sexton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and playwright, best known for her 1966 book of poetry Live Or Die. Like her friend Sylvia Plath, her work is considered confessional poetry, and often dealt with themes of depression, mania, and her relationship with her family. She committed suicide in 1974.
Sexton made a name for herself as a poet in the 1950s, publishing her work in The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine. She also produced a play, Mercy Street, in 1969, and by that time was one of the most renowned living American poets, as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first female member of Phi Betta Kappa’s Harvard chapter, in addition to her Pulitzer Prize.
Anne Sexton had a great love for Martinis, and while studying at Boston University would regularly order them alongside Silvia Plath at the Ritz-Carlton. She eventually eulogized her friend in the poem “Silvia’s Death,” writing, “the death we said we both outgrew / the one we wore on our skinny breasts / the one we talked of so often each time / we downed three extra dry martinis in Boston.”