Monday, December 11, 2006

Courage by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

~ Courage by Anne Sexton


At February 26, 2007, Blogger crazy said...

This poem sucks. Why would you post it? Everyday innocent children are forced to suffer by reading this in school. How dare you spread the depression and frustration caused by the backwards views expressed in this poem?!? Shame on you!!

At September 23, 2008, Blogger Adelic said...

Just because Sexton was at a horrible depressing point in her life doesn't mean that the poem is horrible for others to read. It could, in fact, give people hope that they do have courage if only in the little everyday things they do. It teaches children that even if they aren't accepted in school, they can still overcome the sadness and use their courage to get them through life. You suck for saying this poem sucks.

At May 18, 2011, Blogger luke said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At May 18, 2011, Blogger ryboman1007 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At May 18, 2011, Blogger Jack said...


... Danger Zone
This poem is in the danger zone.

At May 23, 2011, Blogger keegan said...

this poem is great, hahhhh jk it sucks a ball sack


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