Words for Dr. Y. : Uncollected Poems by Anne Sexton ; edited by Linda Gray Sexton
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978. First Edition. Hardcover. 101 pages ; illustrated ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Very good copy in original dust jacket with unmarked pages and square binding.
Anne Sexton's tenth and final volume of poems, Words for Dr. Y., brings together most of her important work that remained unpublished at the time of her death. The collection virtually spans the poet's writing career, for the "Letters to Dr. Y." were begun in 1960, the year that To Bedlam and Part Way Back created a literary sensation, while the stories at the end of the book date from 1974, the last year of Anne Sexton's life.
Words for Dr. Y. contains two important un-published poem sequences. "Letters to Dr. Y." is a series of twenty-three poems addressed to an imaginary psychiatrist who is seen as father-confessor, conscience, corrector and comforter. In "Scorpio, Bad Spider, Die: The Horoscope Poems," the poet uses a newspaper astrologist's admonitions as the basis for a moving exploration of her inner life.
The collection also includes poems written in the early '70s and three remarkable Gothic tales, "The Ghost," "Vampire," and "The Bat or To Remember, To Remember," which indicate an entirely new direction in Anne Sexton's work. And the power and variety of expression in Words for Dr. Y as a whole remind us once again of the enormous vitality of Anne Sexton's diverse, particular gifts. Here, as elsewhere, she stands out as one of our most original and compelling poetic voices.
"Anne Sexton the poet was a triumph, a triumphant event in our literature." — Joyce Carol Oates
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