Anne Sexton was born Anne Gray Harvey in Massachusetts, 1928. She attended college for a year, modelled for a time and got married. At 26, Sexton was diagnosed with postpartum depression, a mental illness due to a chemical imbalance from childbirth, which she developed after the birth of her first daughter. She suffered her first mental breakdown and she found herself in a neuropsychiatric hospital for treatment. She would continue to receive help after many more breakdowns. After another breakdown she had after her second daughter, her children were sent to live with her husband’s, Alfred Muller Sexton II, parents. And in that same year, Sexton attempted suicide. It was Sextons doctor that suggested and encouraged her to pursue and take up writing poetry as an outlet for her troubled mind. In 57, she got into a poetry workshop where she met a close friend and fellow poet, Maxine Kumin. Kumin was able to see firsthand the benefit of Sextons writing, as she described her writing as something “that gave Sexton something to work toward and develop and thus enabled her to endure life for as long as she did” (poetry.org). Anne faced many challenges throughout her life and her many breakdowns stemmed from traumatic experiences. These included the loss of both her parents, the physical abuse of her husband leading to a divorce that also contributed to a decline in health, and due to this decline, she ended up having issues with her daughters taking care of and dealing with her. She had to deal with loneliness, alcoholism along with her depression. Yet, despite all these considerably major obstacles and though they could be considered setbacks, Sexton made a very successful career in poetry. She obtained many awards and much recognition. She received the Pulitzer Prize. She accumulated honors like the Frost Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the Shelley Memorial Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters traveling fellowship and she was recognized by Harvard and was extended an invitation to give the Morris Gray reading. She didn’t stop there though. Following all those, she added the Guggenheim Fellowship, Ford Foundation grants, honorary degrees, professorships at Colgate University and Boston University and more. Unfortunately in 1974, at the age of 46, Anne Sexton couldn’t win her battle mentally and committed suicide.
Part of Speech: Verb
Wane- (of the moon) have a progressively smaller part of its visible surface illuminated, so that it appears to decrease in size.
Appears in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day” Line 5
Source: Google Dictionary
This definition adds to the poems imagery of light fading from the moon, and years passing by and the idea of things fading with the change of day.