Don't dwell on the book's reception. The point is to get on with it --- you have a life's work ahead of you --- no point in dallying around waiting for approval. We all want it. I know, but the point is to reach out honestly --- that's the whole point . . . I keep feeling that there isn't one poem being written by any of us --- or a book or anything like that. The whole life of us writers, the whole product I guess I mean, is the one long poem --- a community effort if you will. It's all the same poem. It doesn't belong to any one writer --- it's God's poem perhaps. Or God's people's poem. You have the gift --- and with it comes responsibility --- you mustn't neglect or be mean to that gift --- you must let it do its work. It has more rights than the ego that wants approval. ...... But my point is --- if you can feel you are in touch with experience, if you've (so to speak) stuck your finger into experience and have got it right and can put it down so that others (even other experience tellers) can comprehend their own lives better, can crawl in closer to the truth of it, then you must get on with it! And keep right on.
- anne sexton, part of letter to Erica Jong, June 1974, from the book: anne sexton:a self-portrait in letters