famous quotes

Welcome to the web´s most comprehensive site of quotations by women. Over 40,000 quotations are searchable by topic, by author's name, or by keyword. Many of them appear in no other collection. And new ones are added continually.

See all TOPICS available:

See all AUTHORS available:

Search by topic:

Find quotations by TOPIC (coffee, love, dogs)
or search alphabetically below.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Search by last name:

Search by keyword:

May Sarton

"They are commiting murder who merely live."

May Sarton, "Summary," Inner Landscape (1939)

New Quoatation

"In Texas the lid blew off the sky a long time ago / So there's nothing to keep the wind from blowing / And it blows all the time."

May Sarton, "In Texas," The Lion and the Rose (1948)

New Quoatation

"Mountains define you. You cannot define / Them."

May Sarton, "Colorado Mountains," The Lion and the Rose (1948)

New Quoatation

"Absence becomes the greatest Presence."

May Sarton, "Difficult Scene," The Lion and the Rose (1948)

New Quoatation

"It takes a long time for words to become thought ... "

May Sarton, "Poet in Residence," The Lion and the Rose (1948)

New Quoatation

"We only keep what we lose."

May Sarton, "O Saisons! O Châteaux!" The Lion and the Rose (1948)

New Quoatation

"For to be desperate is to discover strength. / We die of comfort and by conflict live ... "

May Sarton, "Take Anguish for Companion," The Land of Silence (1953)

New Quoatation

"Innocence is not pure so much as pleased, / Always expectant, bright-eyed, self-enclosed, / But bursts into tears at a harsh word."

May Sarton, "Giant in the Garden," The Land of Silence (1953)

New Quoatation

"I come to you with only this straight gaze. / These are not hours of fire but years of praise. / The glass full to the brim, completely full. / But held in balance so no drop can spill."

May Sarton, "Because What I Want Most Is Permanence," The Land of Silence (1953)

New Quoatation

"... beaming like a lesser god, / He bounced upon the earth he trod. "

May Sarton, "A Celebration for George Sarton," In Time Like Air (1958)

New Quoatation

"Did someone say that there would be an end, / an end, Oh, an end to love and mourning? / What has been once so interwoven cannot be raveled, / not the gift ungiven. / Now the dead move through all of us still glowing. / Mother and child, lover and lover mated, / are wound and bound together and enflowing. / What has been plaited cannot be unplaited -- / only the strands grow richer with each loss / and memory makes kings and queens of us. / Dark into light, light into darkness, spin. / When all the birds have flown to some real haven, / we who find shelter in the warmth within, / listen and feel new-cherished, new-forgiven, / as the lost human voices speak through us and blend / our complex love, our mourning without end."

May Sarton, "All Souls," In Time Like Air (1958)

New Quoatation

"... solitude is one thing and loneliness is another."

May Sarton, I Knew a Phoenix (1959)

New Quoatation

"Words are more powerful than perhaps anyone suspects, and once deeply engraved in a child's mind, they are not easily eradicated."

May Sarton, I Knew a Phoenix (1959)

New Quoatation

"... I believe that children long for form just as grownups do, and that it releases rather than cramps creative energy."

May Sarton, I Knew a Phoenix (1959)

New Quoatation

"If I were to choose one single thing that that would restore Paris to the senses, it would be that strangely sweet, unhealthy smell of the Métro, so very unlike the dank cold or the stuffy heat of subways in New York."

May Sarton, I Knew a Phoenix (1959)

New Quoatation

"This suspension of one's own reality, this being entirely alone in a strange city (at times I wondered if I had lost the power of speech) is an enriching state for a writer. Then the written word ... takes on an intensity of its own. Nothing gets exteriorized or dissipated; all is concentrated within."

May Sarton, I Knew a Phoenix (1959)

New Quoatation

"Fire is a good companion for the mind ... "

May Sarton, "Reflections by a Fire," Cloud, Stone, Sun, Vine (1961)

New Quoatation

"What we have not has made us what we are. / ... / What we are not drives us to consummation."

May Sarton, "Mud Season," Cloud, Stone, Sun, Vine (1961)

New Quoatation

"How grow from peace all that we wish to grow? / It is no small task. At last we have come / To plant our anguish and make for it a home."

May Sarton, "Spring Planting," Cloud, Stone, Sun, Vine (1961)

New Quoatation

"Excellence costs a great deal."

May Sarton, The Small Room (1961)

New Quoatation

"I sometimes think men don't 'hear' very well, if I take your meaning to be 'understand what is going on in a person.' That's what makes them so restful. Women wear each other out with their everlasting touching of the nerve."

May Sarton, The Small Room (1961)

New Quoatation

"She spoke academese, a language that springs like Athene from an intellectual brow, and she spoke it with a nonregional, 'good' accent."

May Sarton, The Small Room (1961)

New Quoatation

"What's beautiful about the life of a poet is that it is still gratuitous. No one, not even Robert Frost, is able to earn a living only through publishing poetry. The only reason for writing poetry is because you have to, because it is what gives you joy. At best even glory is a by-product. Write because you need to find out what you really mean; write because you want to define your experience and because you want to communicate it to your friends. If they turn out someday to be counted in thousands, then you are lucky. But you are lucky now to have the wish, and to begin to learn about the skill, to do what in any age, in any country, very, very few people ever achieve. So let me welcome you, dear young poet, not into the conpany of angels, but into the great company of those who work for joy alone, the poets."

May Sarton, in The Writer (1962)

New Quoatation

"Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at fifteen to write several novels."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"It is always hard to hear the buried truth from another person ... "

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"... a poet never feels useful."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"... don't forget that compared to a grownup person every baby is a genius. Think of the capacity to learn! The freshness, the temperament, the will of a baby a few months old!"

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"People who cannot feel punish those who do."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"The minute one utters a certainty, the opposite comes to mind."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"So this was fame at last! Nothing but a vast debt to be paid to the world in energy, blood, and time."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Women's work is always toward wholeness."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"It was completely fruitless to quarrel with the world, whereas the quarrel with oneself was occasionally fruitful, and always, she had to admit, interesting."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Poetry has a way of teaching one what one needs to know ... if one is honest."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one's own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Try making a poem as if it were a table, clear and solid, standing there outside you."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"Under all the superficial praise of the 'creative' is the desire to kill. It is the old war between the mystic and the nonmystic, a war to the death."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"In a total work, the failures have their not unimportant place."

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"The fact is that I have lived with the belief that power, any kind of power, was the one thing forbidden to poets. ... Power requires that the inner person never be unmasked. No, we poets have to go naked. And since this is so, it is better that we stay private people; a naked public person would be rather ridiculous, what?"

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"You can't break the mould and also be consoled for breaking it, old fool!"

May Sarton, Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)

New Quoatation

"True power is given to the vulnerable."

May Sarton, "The Sleeping God," A Private Mythology (1966)

New Quoatation

" There is a wilder solitude in winter / When every sense is pricked alive and keen ... "

May Sarton, "The House in Winter," A Private Mythology (1966)

New Quoatation

"True gardeners cannot bear a glove / Between the sure touch and the tender root."

May Sarton, "An Observation," As Does New Hampshire (1967)

New Quoatation

"At any moment solitude may put on the face of loneliness."

May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep (1968)

New Quoatation

"Gardening is one of the rewards of middle age, when one is ready for an impersonal passion, a passion that demands patience, acute awareness of a world outside oneself, and the power to keep on growing through all the times of drought, through the cold snows, towards those moments of pure joy when all failures are forgotten and the plum tree flowers."

May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep (1968)

New Quoatation

"Flowers and plants are silence presences; they nourish every sense except the ear ... "

May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep (1968)

New Quoatation

"It is good for a professional to be reminded that his professionalism is only a husk, that the real person must remain an amateur, a lover of the work."

May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep (1968)

New Quoatation

"Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it."

May Sarton, The Poet and the Donkey (1969)

New Quoatation

"Family life! The United Nations is child's play compared to the tugs and splits and need to understand and forgive in any family."

May Sarton, Kinds of Love (1970)

New Quoatation

"Old age is a great trial, John. One has to be so damned good!"

May Sarton, Kinds of Love (1970)

New Quoatation

"Your poems will happen when no one is there."

May Sarton, "A Last Word," A Grain of Mustard Seed (1971)

New Quoatation

"Love cannot exorcise the gifts of hate. / Hate cannot exorcize what has no weight, / But laughter we can never over-rate."

May Sarton, "An Intruder," A Grain of Mustard Seed (1971)

New Quoatation

"Though friendship is not quick to burn, / It is explosive stuff ... "

May Sarton, "Friendship: The Storms," A Grain of Mustard Seed (1971)

New Quoatation

"If I can let you go as trees let go / ... Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep, / The strong root still alive under the snow, / Love will endure -- if I can let you go."

May Sarton, "The Autumn Sonnets," A Durable Fire (1972)

New Quoatation

"There are some griefs so loud / They could bring down the sky, / And there are griefs so still / None knows how deep they lie ... "

May Sarton, "Of Grief," A Durable Fire (1972)

New Quoatation

"I suppose I have written novels to find out what I thought about something and poems to find out what I felt about something."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"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."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world, in feeling myself a part of it, even in a small way. "

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"How unnatural the imposed view, imposed by a puritanical ethos, that passionate love belongs only to the young, that people are dead from the neck down by the time they are forty, and that any deep feeling, any passion after that age, is either ludicrous or revolting!"

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"There is only one real deprivation, I decided this morning, and that is not to be able to give one's gifts to those one loves most."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"... sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become ... But there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"No partner in a love relationship (whether homo- or heterosexual) should feel that he has to give up an essential part of himself to make it viable."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Gardening is an instrument of grace. "

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"It always comes back to the same thing: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"When it comes to the important things one is always alone ... "

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and some pure foolishness."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"... I asked myself the question, 'What do you want of your life?' and I realized with a start of recognition and terror, 'Exactly what I have -- but to be commensurate, to handle it all better.'"

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"The season is changeable, fitful, and maddening as I am myself these days that are cloaked with too many demands and engagements."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude, then a cluster when there is hardly time to breathe."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"I find that when I have any appointment, even an afternoon one, it changes the whole quality of time. I feel overcharged. There is no space for what wells up from the subconscious; those dreams and images live in deep still water and simply submerge when the day gets scattered."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Lunches are just not good. They take the heart out of the day and the spaciousness from the morning's work."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"I am furious at all the letters to answer, when all I want to do is think and write poems. ... I long for open time, with no obligations except toward the inner world and what is going on there."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"We are able to laugh when we achieve detachment, if only for a moment."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"Being very rich as far as I am concerned is having a margin. The margin is being able to give."

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"I have sometimes wondered also whether in people like me who come to the boil fast (soupe au lait, the French call this trait, like a milk soup that boils over) the tantrum is not a built-in safety valve against madness or illness. ... The fierce tension in me, when it is properly channeled, creates the good tension for work. But when it becomes unbalanced I am destructive. How to isolate that good tension is my problem these days. Or, put in another way, how to turn the heat down fast enough so the soup won't boil over!"

May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)

New Quoatation

"... I see a certain order in the universe and math is one way of making it visible."

May Sarton, As We Are Now (1973)

New Quoatation

"Do we always make our freedom out of someone else's bondage?"

May Sarton, Crucial Conversations (1975)

New Quoatation

"Human relations just are not fixed in their orbits like the planets -- they're more like galaxies, changing all the time, exploding into light for years, then dying away."

May Sarton, Crucial Conversations (1975)

New Quoatation

"... people who are always thinking of the feelings of others can be very destructive because they are hiding so much from themselves."

May Sarton, Crucial Conversations (1975)

New Quoatation

"... instant intimacy was too often followed by disillusion."

May Sarton, A World of Light: Portraits and Celebrations (1976)

New Quoatation

"A good marriage shuts out a very great deal."

May Sarton, A Reckoning (1978)

New Quoatation

"... solitude / Is not all exaltation, inner space / Where the soul breathes and work can be done. / Solitude exposes the nerve, / Raises up ghosts. / The past, never at rest, flows through it."

May Sarton, "Gestalt at Sixty," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"Solitude swells the inner space / Like a balloon. / We are wafted hither and thither / On the air currents. / How to land it?"

May Sarton, "Gestalt at Sixty," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"I did not come here for society / In these years / When every meeting is collision, / The impact huge, / The reverberations slow to die down."

May Sarton, "Gestalt at Sixty," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"I am not ready to die, / But I am learning to trust death / As I have trusted life."

May Sarton, "Gestalt at Sixty," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"Now we have buried the face we never knew, / Now we have silenced the voice we never heard, / Now he is dead we look on him with awe ... "

May Sarton, "Easter, 1968," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"... love is healing, even rootless love."

May Sarton, "The Muse as Medusa," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"I tell you the gods are still alive / And they are not consoling."

May Sarton, "At Delphi," Selected Poems of May Sarton (1978)

New Quoatation

"... making order out of disorder any time, anywhere, can be regarded as a sacrament."

May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal (1980)

New Quoatation

"I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind."

May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal (1980)

New Quoatation

"... I no longer have any distant hopes, anything ahead that I look forward to with a leap of the heart. ... A trajectory, the sense I had of myself and my own powers, has been broken."

May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal (1980)

New Quoatation

"An old body when it is loved becomes a sacred treasure; and sex itself must always, it seems to me, come to us as a sacrament and be so used or it is meaningless. The flesh is suffused by the spirit, and it is forgetting this in the act of love-making that creates cynicism and despair."

May Sarton, Recovering: A Journal (1980)

New Quoatation

"In the country of pain we are each alone."

May Sarton, "The Country of Pain," Halfway to Silence (1980)

New Quoatation

"... one of the springs of poetry is joy ... "

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"... each new poem is partly propelled by the formal energies of all the poems that have preceded it in the history of literature."

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"Poetry finds its perilous equilibrium somewhere between music and speech ... "

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"It is clear that we do not exactly choose our poems; our poems choose us."

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"My own feeling is that the only possible reason for engaging in the hard labor of writing a novel, is that one is bothered by something one needs to understand, and can come to understand only through the characters in the imagined situation."

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"For poetry is, I believe, always an act of the spirit. The poem teaches us something while we make it. The poem makes you as you make the poem, and your making of the poem requires all your capacities of thought, feeling, analysis, and synthesis."

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"For poetry exists to break through to below the level of reason where the angels and monsters that the amenities keep in the cellar may come out to dance, to rove and roar, growling and singing, to bring life back to the enclosed rooms where too often we are only 'living and partly living.'"

May Sarton, Writings on Writing (1980)

New Quoatation

"Old age is not an illness, it is a timeless ascent. As power diminishes, we grow toward the light."

May Sarton, "Lighter With Age," The New York Times (1978)

New Quoatation

"A holiday gives one a chance to look backward and forward, to reset oneself by an inner compass."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"... we are never done with thinking about our parents, I suppose, and come to know them better long after they are dead than we ever did when they were alive."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"Once more I realize that solitude is my element, and the reason is that extreme awareness of other people (all naturally solitary people must feel this) precludes awareness of one's self, so after a while the self no longer knows that it exists."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

" The hardest thing we are asked to do in this world is to remain aware of suffering, suffering about which we can do nothing."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"I have never written a book that was not born out of a question I needed to answer for myself."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"I suppose real old age begins when one looks backward rather than forward ... "

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"Why is it that people who cannot show feeling presume that that is a strength and not a weakness?"

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself ... "

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"... gardening is a madness, a folly that does not go away with age. Quite the contrary."

May Sarton, At Seventy (1984)

New Quoatation

"Under their weight of bloom / And ninety springs / Flow through her upstairs room, / And memory sings."

May Sarton, "For Laurie," Letters From Maine (1984)

New Quoatation

"And one cold starry night / Whatever your belief / The phoenix will take flight / Over the seas of grief / To sing her thrilling song / To stars and waves and sky / For neither old nor young / The phoenix does not die."

May Sarton, title poem, The Phoenix Again (1987)

New Quoatation

"Inside my mother's death / I lay and could not breathe ... "

May Sarton, "Dream," The Silence Now (1988)

New Quoatation

"Unless the gentle inherit the earth, / There will be no earth."

May Sarton, "New Year Poem," The Silence Now (1988)

New Quoatation

"In the novel or the journal you get the journey. In a poem you get the arrival."

May Sarton, in Earl G. Ingersoll, ed., Conversations With May Sarton (1991)

New Quoatation

"... have the courage to write whatever your dream is for yourself."

May Sarton, in Earl G. Ingersoll, ed., Conversations With May Sarton (1991)

New Quoatation

"For me a true poem is on the way when I begin to be haunted, when it seems as if I were being asked an inescapable question by an angel with whom I must wrestle to get at the answer."

May Sarton, "Revision as Creation," Sarton Selected (1991)

New Quoatation

"Poetry is a dangerous profession between conflict and resolution, between feeling and thought, between becoming and being, between the ultra-personal and the universal -- and these balances are shifting all the time."

May Sarton, "On Growth and Change," Sarton Selected (1991)

New Quoatation

"Do I think there's life after death? No, I think my books are my life after death."

May Sarton, in The Boston Globe (1992)

New Quoatation

"... in the very long run any success devours -- and perhaps also corrupts."

May Sarton, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I know you have much to bear with in me, and I really do sometimes in you, but I have never looked at friendship in a deep sense as easy or entirely comfortable."

May Sarton, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I love giving flowers. It is so deliciously unlasting and romantic."

May Sarton, 1928, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Light is snow sifted / To an abstraction."

May Sarton, "Night of Snow" (1929), in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Words are my passion / And out of them and me / I would create beauty."

May Sarton, "Creation" (1937), in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"... all great people are humble because great people have great work and are humbled by the largeness of their dreams."

May Sarton, 1940, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Poems like to have a destination for their flight. They are homing pigeons."

May Sarton, 1940, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"One must always get away to taste experience. One must always escape from people one loves in order to love them. Isn't it queer?"

May Sarton, 1940, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I am brooding on the book and think there must be a pause to let things come, not to force them. But I am not suited to pauses. When I can't work I feel miserable, a worm."

May Sarton, 1941, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I simply adore being alone -- I find it a consuming thirst -- and when that thirst is slaked, then I am happy."

May Sarton, 1942, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"In poetry compromise is fatal. In action of any cooperative sort it is inevitable. The thing is to find the balance."

May Sarton, 1943, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I was kept awake half the night by a rather loud inexperienced nightingale, and finally took a sedative (the first time I've used one)."

May Sarton, 1947, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"... letters are so much easier than living. One can give one's best."

May Sarton, 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Is it perhaps the one necessity of love, that it be needed? And the one great human tragedy that it so rarely is?"

May Sarton, 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"More than any other beauty (though it is true of all beauty except in art) passion seems to me to have the seeds of its own destruction in it."

May Sarton, 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"... when I am working I immediately feel hopeful."

May Sarton, 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Love is our human miracle."

May Sarton, 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Failure would only be if you had somewhere stopped growing. As far as I can see the whole duty of the artist is to keep on growing ... "

May Sarton, 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"One could go on revising a prose page forever whereas there is a point in a poem when one knows it is done forever."

May Sarton, 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"My musical genius reached its apex thirty years ago when I played the triangle in Haydn's children's symphony, so I could not play unless you needed someone to make one sustained note!"

May Sarton, 1953, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"It is curious how any making of order makes one feel mentally ordered, ordered inside."

May Sarton, 1954, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I suppose one has to remember that 'life' is important too, though it's something I forget in some moods, everything except work seeming like an interruption or really non-life."

May Sarton, 1954, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I sometimes imagine that as one grows older one comes to live a role which as a young person one merely 'played.'"

May Sarton, 1955, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"I feel often very close to the ecstasy and anguish which lie at the very heart of poetry -- I am writing a lot."

May Sarton, 1959, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"Death does frame a person and somehow it is the good that stays."

May Sarton, 1975, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days (1993)

New Quoatation

"It's extraordinary how little two people can understand each other and how cruel two people who are fond of each other can be to each other -- there is practically no cruelty so awful because their power to hurt is so great."

May Sarton, 1932, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"I am realizing once and for all the difference as far as I am concerned of women and men and the necessity for both. With a man, however tender he is, one is feeding him -- one is always and eternally understanding, mothering, supplying him with faith in himself (not in you)."

May Sarton, 1937, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"If one is the kind of creature I am and wants to do the kind of writing I want to do, an undisturbed bourgeois existence with no distractions seems in order. A single meeting outside the family upsets one's whole inner web, makes one start off on two-days' thinking and weighing, destroys a delicate balance etc. etc. ... I now have enough friends to last me a lifetime and that is enough. I am going to close the doors and hibernate at least for a couple of years. I am frightfully depressed about my work. It seems to me perfectly mediocre."

May Sarton, 1938, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

" I cannot understand why poetry is not taught at schools as a way of seeing, a quick, untiring path to essentials. "

May Sarton, 1939, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"It is dangerous it seems to me for a civilization when there is a complete abyss betewen people in general and the artists. Or is it always so? The poets who are most ardently on the people's side write in such a way that the people cannot see rhyme nor reason to their work."

May Sarton, 1941, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"... poetry is first of all a way of life and only secondarily a way of writing."

May Sarton, 1941, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

" ... over and over again I am struck by the wordiness of modern poetry, as if language had replaced experience and must be more and more extreme, intricate and in a way divorced from life itself. It seems as if what we all need is a great purification -- but how will that come about?"

May Sarton, 1942, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

" A great silence has descended on me for the last six months. I am as silent as an Arab in the desert, as dry, thirsty, and full of wonder and rumours which do not materialize into camels or travellers at all, but just vanish into the silent spaces from where they came. I expect this is a good thing though it is extremely irritating -- the brink of a voice and never a voice."

May Sarton, 1942, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"And I refuse to feel guilty about not letter-writing either. There are times when one can, times when one can't. In the times when an enormous amount of living is going on, one can't."

May Sarton, 1942, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"The tragic thing about learning from experience is I fear that one can only learn from one's own experience. Other people's -- other nations' -- experiences simply do not help. They can be imaginatively learned from. But people do not act on other people's experiences."

May Sarton, 1944, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"What frightens me about America today is that in the large majority there is no active sense of the value of the individual: few citizens feel that they are the Republic, responsible for what happens. And when the individual in a democracy ceases to feel his importance, then there is grave danger that he will give over his freedom, if not to a Fascist State, then to the advertising men or Publicity Agents or to the newspaper he happens to read."

May Sarton, 1946, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"... life is always bringing unexpected gifts."

May Sarton, 1948, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"... I think that passion if really intense is always destructive if not to the two involved, always to other people ... "

May Sarton, 1954, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 (1997)

New Quoatation

"Solitude is the salt of personhood. It brings out the authentic flavor of every experience."

May Sarton, "Rewards of a Solitary Life," in The New York Times (1990)

New Quoatation

May Sarton, Belgian-born U.S. writer, poet
(1912 - 1995)

Real name: Eleanore Marie Sarton