Being with you

Anthony Hecht

Keeping this blog going on a daily basis has proved to be a challenge. This morning, for example, I was tempted to post a poem written when I was still at school, around the age of sixteen. Sweet little sixteen! Those years are long gone. On the other hand, I am always loath to use up material which is there on file and could be used on a rainy day. Sometimes this desire leads me to improvise new poems, and most of the poems on this blog have been written on the spur of the moment on the day, with an imaginary deadline of nine a.m. to help me focus.

The poem below, more of a haiku really, was inspired by a line I read last night in a letter Anne Sexton sent to fellow poet, Anthony Hecht, in 1961. I’ve mentioned the book Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters in a previous post. I cannot recommend it highly enough for those interested in her poetry but also as a glimpse into a remarkably open, creative soul, gifted with tremendous self-knowledge, albeit tragically peppered with self-doubt. To those reading her Complete Poems, the letters are indispensable. My poem is an imagined response from Hecht to the line in that letter.

Anne Sexton

Being with you

Being with you
        is just like
your face
        said it would be
your hair
        your ears
your eyes
        your lips
your smile
        your kiss
your chin
        your shoulders
your breasts
        your waist
your hips
        your sex
your thighs
        your knees
your ankles
        your feet
your words
        your love

Being with you
        is just like
your love
        said it would be
being with you

John Lyons


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