The Play

I am the only actor.
It is difficult for one woman
to act out a whole play.
The play is my life,
my solo act.
My running after the hands
and never catching up.
(The hands are out of sight -
that is, offstage.)
All I am doing onstage is running,
running to keep up,
but never making it.

Suddenly I stop running.
(This moves the plot along a bit.)
I give speeches, hundreds,
all prayers, all soliloquies.
I say absurd things like:
egss must not quarrel with stones
or, keep your broken arm inside your sleeve
or, I am standing upright
but my shadow is crooked.
And such and such.
Many boos. Many boos.

Despite that I go on to the last lines:
To be without God is to be a snake
who wants to swallow an elephant.
The curtain falls.
The audience rushes out.
It was a bad performance.
That’s because I’m the only actor
and there are few humans whose lives
will make an interesting play.
Don’t you agree?


Anonymous submission.

by Anne Sexton

Comments (8)

i don't throw this word around lightly, but this is BRILLIANT. i think you have effectively cornered the market on satirical poetry, PoHo. what you did to Frost here is like turning a Van Eyck painting into a Rockwell. Jake
I hadnt taken time to read this, PH...and found it witty, sharp, and well-written. This should be sent somewhere for publication...there ought to be a market somewhere. Now I need to go heal my 'bite wounds' and come back for more. :) Raynette
I can't believe I haven't read this before now. What a corker! You've taken one of my favourite poems and used it to have a very witty go at one of my least favourite things - 10,10, dammit,10! Hugs Anna xxx PS How many republicans does it take to change a lightbulb? None. There is nothing wrong with the lightbulb and any suggestions to the contrary are part of an evil smear campaign by the liberal media. This lighbulb has worked admirably and has served its purpose well. Why do you hate freedom?
Funny and sharp! Although Republicans like things all white, they are ignoring the oncoming global warming.. What a quandry they'll be in then... -chuck
I can just about feel the earth shake with Robert's laughter, as once again you delightfully take aim at such a deserving target, o such sweet slaughter! phillip
See More