Anne Sexton, To Bedlam and Part Way Back

Patricia Godi (Université de CLERMONT-FERRAND 2)
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Anne Sexton’s first book of poems,

To Bedlam and Part Way Back

, marked the beginning of the career of a poet who has now become an icon of American poetry. Published by Houghton Mifflin in 1960, the collection has come to be seen as one of the emblematic instances of “confessional” poetry, a trend which developed among a group of poets gathered around Robert Lowell at Boston University in the late 1950s. These poets opened up new modes of poetic expression by drawing heavily upon personal experience at a time when the aesthetics of impersonality inherited from the Modernists and American New Criticism still prevailed.

Born into an affluent New England family in Newton, Massachusetts, on November 9th 1928, Sexton (born Gray Harvey) started writing poetry as a teenager, although it was

2264 words

Citation: Godi, Patricia. "To Bedlam and Part Way Back". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 January 2019 [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

8378 To Bedlam and Part Way Back 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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