I know you won't be surprised that I begin National Poetry Month with a poem about ghosts. Ghosts - by Anne Sexton Some ghosts are women, neither abstract nor pale, their breasts as limp as killed fish. Not witches, but ghosts who come, moving their useless arms like forsaken servants. Not all ghosts are women, I have seen others; fat, white-bellied men, wearing their genitals like old rags. Not devils, but ghosts. This one thumps barefoot, lurching above my bed. But that isn't all. Some ghosts are children. Not angels, but ghosts; curling like pink tea cups on any pillow, or kicking, showing their innocent bottoms, wailing for Lucifer.
Anne Sexton (1928 – 1974)
American poet Anne Sexton who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for Live or Die, was only 46 when she lost her battle with mental illness and committed suicide in 1974.
Sexton offers the reader an intimate view of the emotional anguish that characterized her life. She made the experience of being a woman a central issue in her poetry, and though she endured criticism for bringing subjects such as menstruation, abortion, and drug addiction into her work, her skill as a poet transcended the controversy over her subject matter.