Poetry Corner: “Angel of Flight” by Anne Sexton

Angel of flight and sleigh bells, do you know paralysis,
that ether house where your arms and legs are cement?
You are as still as a yardstick. You have a doll’s kiss.
The brain whirls in a fit. The brain is not evident.
I have gone to that same place without a germ or a stroke.
A little solo act—the lady with the brain that broke.

In this fashion I have become a tree.
I have become a vase you can pick up or drop at will,
inanimate at last. What unusual luck! My body
passively resisting. Part of the leftovers. Part of the kill.
Angel of flight, you soarer, you flapper, you floater,
you gull that grows out of my back in the dreams I prefer,

stay near. But give me the totem. Give me the shut eye
where I stand in stone shoes as the world’s bicycle goes by.

— Anne Sexton


Edo-Period Pregnancy Dolls

These obstetrical dolls from 19th-century Edo (modern-day Tokyo) were used to educate midwives on the delivery of babies, as well as to entertain the public at sideshow carnivals known as misemono. Realistic and articulated, some of them even included models of the fetus in various stages of its development.