FRANCIE: The historical bell of Chilton, 120 years old. Every member of the Puffs has stood here under the cover of night to pledge her lifelong devotion to us. ‘I pledge myself to the Puffs, loyal I’ll always be, a P to start, 2 F’s at the end, and a U sitting in between.’
RORY: Anne Sexton, right?
Anne Sexton (born Anne Harvey, 1928-1974) was an American poet known for her highly personal, confessional verse, on themes such as her depression and suicidal feelings. She is often compared with Sylvia Plath, and the two were friends (they were both poets around the same age from the Boston area). She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1968, and took her own life by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rory satirically compares the sub-literary Puffs rhyme with Sexton’s verse. The gloom-loving, suicide-romanticising Rory would surely have checked out Sexton’s poetry, and the Puffs seem to make her mind automatically swing towards thoughts of self-oblivion.