Study Guide

Her Kind Isolation

By Anne Sexton


The funny thing about breaking boundaries is that you're often doing it on your own. The speaker of "Her Kind" seems to like things on her own – or maybe she just feels that she has no choice. After all, when you're trying to build your own world in caves, chances are that you're probably running away from something back there in the regular workaday world. The fact that there's no one responding to her declaration of unity makes even her claim of solidarity ring just a little bit hollow. It's not a chorus. It's a solo act. And those can be lonely.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Does the refrain make our speaker seem less or more isolated? Why?
  2. Our speaker describes herself as a witch. Can you think of other descriptions of women which cast them as outsiders?
  3. How does the seven-line stanza contribute to the sense of isolation in this poem?
  4. How does our speaker feel about her isolation? Is she resigned? Angry? Happy? How can you tell?

Chew on This

The refrain makes our speaker seem less isolated. The fact that she constantly repeats the phrase “her kind” suggests that she is proud of “her kind,” that she wants to tell the world about this kind of woman.

The speaker is proud of the fact that she has endured her isolation.