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Omphaloskepsis Blog

And the vacuum cleaner swallows its bag

Jan 19, 2010

To follow the painting progression: Painting Progression: And the vacuum cleaner swallows its bag


The Risk by Anne Sexton

When a daughter tries suicide

and the chimney falls down like a drunk
and the dog chews her tail off
and the kitchen blows up its shiny kettle
and the vacuum cleaner swallows its bag
and the toilet washes itself in tears
and the bathroom scales weigh in the ghost of the grandmother

and the windows, those sky pieces, ride out like boats
and the grass rolls down the driveway
and the mother lies down on her marriage bed
and eats up her heart like two eggs.

For me this is such a poignant poem, especially the last two lines. That’s exactly what its like. How did she know? Whenever I read the poem, that’s how I feel, like I’m eating my heart like two eggs. My husband told me that Anne Sexton was depressed and her therapist suggested she write poetry. Later she committed suicide. Her poetry is beautiful.

I picked this line from this poem as the title because the image I’m painting makes me feel like I’m in a vacuum cleaner bag. You can watch the painting progress by following the link from the picture or, as always, from the photo album in the right column of the main blog page.

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