film + poetry


I am currently reading Anne Sexton's Love Poems and while I loved her before, this collection definitely cemented my adoration and awe of her poetry. The themes that she talked about here are by no means easy, mostly about adultery and relationships that can destroy you, but they are also very tangible and honest. They remind me that love is anything but simple and I often find myself catching my breath with each poem.

The movie Breathless also came to my mind while reading this book. It has been awhile since I saw it so my recollection of the story is somewhat hazy but the thing that stood out the most for me was that 'no holds barred' intensity of the couple in the film. They had a very complex love-hate relationship but you can't deny their attraction for each other, no matter how hard they tried to fight it. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg definitely had that special zing! and will always be one of my favorite onscreen couples.

Here is a poem that I chose to complement the scene above. I really love the first lines, she has a way of making each emotion so vivid and immediate, you can almost touch it.

by Anne Sexton

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool !

Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

Image from Breathless (1960), courtesy of Rialto Pictures/StudioCanal


  1. oh you've made me want to read her again!
    and i don't think that i've seen that film. looks really good. thanks.

    1. Monica, yes..its a great film. And a sentimental favorite of mine. :)

  2. I love Anne Sexton, thank you so much for this.

    1. You're welcome, Sofia. Glad you liked it.

  3. Breathless is my #2 favorite movie ever (#1 is The 400 blows, by Truffaut). I have a huge poster of Jean Seberg and Belmondo is my living room. She's kinda my muse I guess. I'm thinking I have to read Anne Sexton's Love Poems, right? :)

    1. Camila, I haven't seen The 400 Blows, I need to check it out! And yes...Jean Seberg is definitely one of my muses too. I have been dreaming of her stripe dress ever since I saw Breathless some years ago.

  4. i read that exact poem for the first time last night.

    (i dug it, and the ones immediately around it...but then she started talking about erections euphemistically... and i'm just not in the right mood for that. hahaha.)

    1. holly, you're reading this collection too? or is it a different book? and i had to laugh about your comment on erections (albeit euphemistically)...she doesn't mince her words, doesn't she? :)