Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

What (May Sarton)

A selected bibliography of May Sarton’s works appears online at Mary Mark Ockerblum’s “Celebration of Women Writers” site: novels, poetry, special editions, broadsides, journals, memoirs, children’s books, plays, essays, collections, correspondence, interviews, audio and video recordings, and some secondary sources are included: enough to keep you reading for a good long while.

Here are eight quotes that I’ve noted in reading May Sarton’s works:

These are the great days when clarity comes back to the air and all is a radiant suspense before the first leaf falls. Autumn is on the threshold, but for a week or two we have the best of everything. A still center before the wheel turns.
Recovering: A Journal 1978-1979

Loneliness is the poverty of self;
Solitude is the richness of self.
Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

There the door is always open into the ‘holy’ – growth, birth, death. Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good, creative death.
Journal of a Solitude

One thing is certain, and I have always known it – the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about…
At Seventy: A Journal

All the way down I had been in a state of great praise for trees wondering … how I could ever live without them, thinking of their comfort, how they nourish and sustain us with their beauty and coolness, their steadfastness, the fact that they will outlive those who plant them. And I understood why old men plant trees.
House by the Sea

When I said that all poems are love poems, I meant that the motor power, the electric current is love of one kind or another. The subject may be something quite impersonal.
Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

I can cast out the wrong idea of fidelity and understand that in the end one cannot be faithful in the true life-giving sense if it means being unfaithful to oneself.
Recovering: A Journal 1978-1979

It is only when we can believe that we are creating the soul that life has any meaning, but when we can believe it – and I do and always have – then there is nothing we do that is without meaning and nothing that we suffer that does not hold the seed of creation in it.
Journal of a Solitude

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