Hearing again the life-altering, haunting words of poet Sexton

March 31, 2006|By STEPHEN KIEHL | STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER

A siren in a red dress, poet Anne Sexton strode to the stage at Goucher College on Oct. 1, 1974, and assembled her usual props - a glass of water, a sheaf of papers, a pack of cigarettes. Over the next 90 minutes, she delivered a bracing, spirited performance that ended with a prolonged standing ovation.

Two days later, she flew home to Massachusetts. She taught a poetry class at Boston University. She had lunch with an old friend. Then, sometime on the afternoon of Oct. 4, she poured herself a glass of vodka, walked into her garage and shut the door. She started the engine of her red Cougar and breathed in the carbon monoxide that would end her life at the age of 45.

REPLAY OF ANNE SEXTON READING 4 p.m. today, Kelley Lecture Hall in the Hoffberger Science Building at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. Free and open to the public.

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