Anne Sexton did not start writing poetry seriously until she was nearly 30, when the deaths of her parents and frustration with her role as a housewife and mother opened the floodgates of her creativity. Expressions of mental, emotional and physical affliction recur often in her work, which can be shocking in its extremity and graphic description: poetry, she believed “should almost hurt.” Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and other confessional poets influenced her work.
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