Starry Night By Anne Sexton Essay

731 Words Apr 14th, 2015 3 Pages
“Starry Night” is a poem by Anne Sexton that was written to show her own analysis of the painting by Vincent van Gogh which holds the same name. While the painting is a beautiful work in itself, Sexton’s poem provides details that accentuates the painting. Sexton’s interpretation of the painting is completely angled toward a beautiful death experience. Sexton’s poem is filled with imagery, figurative language, and diction that brings more life and understanding to the painting. Anne Sexton created a mental picture for the reader by providing descriptive words that appeal to the senses. By Sexton using colors such as fiery orange and black, using the words serpent and dragon, and repeating the phrase ‘I want to die,’ she keeps the death theme through-out the entire poem. Sexton also continues the contrasts in the painting by incorporating them into her poem. Sexton writes, “The town is silent. The night boils with eleven stars.” (Line 4). The silence of the town is contrasting with the vivid actions in the sky. She even writes of an orange moon contrasting with the dark sky as the unseen serpent swallows the stars. Figurative language is present in “Starry Night” because of the way Sexton uses words to express her own meaning of the painting without being literal. Sexton uses simile in her poem when she says “except where one black-haired tree slips up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.” (Line 2 and 3). By contrasting these dissimilar objects, Sexton enhances…

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