The Complete Poems - The Book of Folly Summary & Analysis

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The Book of Folly Summary

The Book of Folly, dedicated to the author's daughter, Joy, is divided into two parts. The first section, which actually consists of twenty poems, is entitled "Thirty Poems", and the second is entitled "The Jesus Papers". "Thirty Poems" is a return to Sexton's standard confessional poetry, while "The Jesus Papers" contains nine poems which are all based around the character of Christ and various stories from the New Testament.

"Thirty Poems" begins with "The Ambition Bird", which is about the peculiarity of being a writer and the joy and agony of inspiration. "The Doctor of the Heart" laments medicine's inability to cure emotional ills. "Oh" describes the speaker's feeling that she is being pursued by death, although she seems to accept this with fascination rather than fear. "Sweeney" is thick with autobiography in fact the author uses...

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This section contains 1,134 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Complete Poems Study Guide
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