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May Sarton quotes (showing 1-30 of 83)

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
May Sarton
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.”
May Sarton
“Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“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
“Public education was not founded to give society what it wants. Quite the opposite.”
May Sarton
“There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become.”
May Sarton
“In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing--the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.”
May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal
“I can tell you that 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
“Without darkness, nothing comes to birth, As without light, nothing flowers.”
May Sarton
“If art is not to be life-enhancing, what is it to be? Half the world is feminine--why is there resentment at a female-oriented art? Nobody asks The Tale of Genji to be masculine! Women certainly learn a lot from books oriented toward a masculine world. Why is not the reverse also true? Or are men really so afraid of women's creativity (because they are not themselves at the center of creation, cannot bear children) that a woman writer of genius evokes murderous rage, must be brushed aside with a sneer as 'irrelevant'?”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“A house that does not have one worn, comfy chair in it is soulless.”
May Sarton
“Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at fifteen to write several novels.”
May Sarton
“Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it.”
May Sarton, The Poet and the Donkey: A Novel
tags: aging
“I loved them all the way one loves at any age -- if it's real at all -- obsessively, painfully, with wild exultation, with guilt, with conflict; I wrote poems to and about them, I put them into novels (disguised of course); I brooded upon why they were as they were, so often maddening don't you know? I wrote them ridiculous letters. I lived with their faces. I knew their every gesture by heart. I stalked them like wild animals. I studied them as if they were maps of the world -- and in a way I suppose they were.”
May Sarton
“For any writer who wants to keep a journal, be alive to everything, not just to what you're feeling, but also to your pets, to flowers, to what you're reading.”
May Sarton
“One has only to set a loved human being against the fact that we are all in peril all the time to get back a sense of proportion. What does anything matter compared to the reality of love and its span, so brief at best, maintained against such odds?”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“I feel like an inadequate machine, a machine that breaks down at crucial moments, grinds to a dreadful hault, 'won't go,' or, even worse, explodes in some innocent person's face.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“Words are more powerful than perhaps anyone suspects, and once deeply engraved in a child's mind, they are not easily eradicated.”
May Sarton
“At some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth.”
May Sarton
“I feel more alive when I'm writing than I do at any other time--except maybe when I'm making love.”
May Sarton
“True feeling justifies whatever it may cost.”
May Sarton
“The moral dilemma is to make peace with the unacceptable”
May Sarton
“Where music thundered let the mind be still,
Where the will triumphed let there be no will,
What light revealed, now let the dark fulfill.”
May Sarton
“Now I become myself. It’s taken time, many years and places.”
May Sarton
“Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember nothing stays the same for long, not even pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
May Sarton
“A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.”
May Sarton
“It is harder for women, perhaps to be 'one-pointed,' much harder for them to clear space around whatever it is they want to do beyond household chores and family life. Their lives are fragmented... the cry not so much for a 'a room of one's own' as time of one's own. Conflict become acute, whatever it may be about, when there is no margin left on any day in which to try at least to resolve it.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
“Routine is not a prison, but the way to freedom from time.”
May Sarton
“Wrinkles here and there seem unimportant compared to the Gestalt of the whole person I have become in this past year.”
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
tags: aging

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