Saturday, November 7, 2015

Review: The Awful Rowing Toward God by Anne Sexton

Synopsis: Published shortly after her death, the last poems Sexton proofed, this is a collection about her journey to God ad the thoughts and emotion she felt.

Review: In even a brief encounter with famous feminist writers, Anne Sexton's name is always one to pop up. Lumped into the same list as Virginia Wolf and Sylvia Plath, she is considered a genius and someone to laud. I don't. I didn't enjoy these poems at all. Angsty and needlessly neurotic, they hold no clear theme or idea other than her own self-centeredness. True, she struggled with depression and mental illness in a time when mental illness was not understood or socially spoken about. True, she was a writer during a time when all writers were suppose to be emo and existential. But her work doesn't seem to hold meaning. It's just a jumble of disconnected words, as if she intentionally trying to be deep. But trying to be deep is different than being deep. I did think it interesting how she referenced Søren Kierkegaard more than once. An intriguing choice. Granted, he was heavily influential in philosophy, psychology, and religious - all of which Sexton had personal experience with - but it is still choice I wish to understand more. But unless she left some other written words about it, I doubt I will ever understand her thinking. Particular because I find her words overly-dramatic and ego-centric. Clearly, Sexton is not my cup of tea – but I am not surprised by this in the least.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None for this book. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1967 Live or Die.

ISBN: 0-395-20366-X
Date Finished: 11-3-2015
Pages: 85

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