Plant Dreaming Deep
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Plant Dreaming Deep

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  343 ratings  ·  31 reviews

May Sarton describes living at her eighteenth-century house in Nelson, New Hampshire"how she acquired it, how it and the garden became part of her.

Paperback, 188 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1968)
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Cheryl
Plant Dreaming Deep is a memoir of writer May Sarton's first ten years in her first home in Nelson, NH.

I first read this book when in my twenties and in full stride as an ex-urbanite in the deep north woods of Minnesota. I felt a deep kinship with Ms. Sarton, even then, yet what a different perspective now at 58 and living independently in my first home, embracing with relish, reverence, and a sense of discovery, the treasure of life in common with a wide variety of neighbors and the many, many...more
Rebecca
May Sarton is such a calming influence. This is a book I've returned to several times when I need to slow down, pay more attention to the world around me. (She also was a firebrand feminist back before women "did that sort of thing," so she's no shrinking violet.) This is about creating a home for herself -- space and solitude and atmosphere in which to write, a garden in which to replenish herself. It's a book full of hope and goodwill and patience, the learning to cultivate thereof.

I original...more
John
I read this one after reading the actual journals in order, so my perspective is likely a bit different.

The pros: May does almost no complaining here, quite a contrast from the journals! She does a terrific job evoking a sense of place, more so than later in York, ME, although she does not own that house itself. The book has almost the feel of James Herriott, without the animals. The last section has a foreshadowing of the changes the 60's would bring to the area; it's a story of the tail end of...more
Sarah Ansani
Upon finishing this book, I am grateful that my boyfriend finally found the memoir section in the bookstore. I am thankful for the stool that happened to be--right there--so I could see the spines of the books I otherwise couldn't reach. I am also thankful that I "saw something" in a slim, cloth-bound, modest book with just the title and author jet black inked on its spine. A very unassuming book, indeed. But I bought it anyway, for three bucks.

I am grateful because I love this book. In the pres...more
Jennifer
May Sarton writes of art, community, humanity, work, and nature, but more than anything else, she speaks to the role that place plays in all of our lives, and the way that making one's own place in the world is a beautiful struggle. Her account of finding a home in rural New Hampshire made me homesick for my own childhood on a farm in Maine. There's an honesty in her view of the world and its flawed people that I love. This was just the right book to read today.
Sherry (sethurner)
I read this because one of my former university professors, Margot Peters wrote a biography of the writer/poet. After hearing Peters speak, I decided I wanted to learn more about May Sarton. Sarton's autobiograpical book describes renovating and moving into a house where she can write and feel at peace. It's not a slender volume, but I really enjoyed her ruminations about her home and environment.
Talia
"I woke to sunlight, the washed crystal air after storm, the maples all lit up, translucent, a brilliant world of blue and gold, almost incredible after the darkness of the day before. I was learning right away the immense pleasure it is to have no idea what one will see on waking..." (p53).

I enjoyed all of this short personal memoir by novelist/poet May Sarton, who documents with grace her first solo year in a run-down country home on 30 acres that she restored in Nelson, New Hampshire. Contemp...more
Kirsten
Oh gosh, I loved this book. It isn't one of her journals but it reads like one and takes you through her first years in her first house, from her first viewing of the house through its renovation, her first visitors, her discoveries with each changing season. May Sarton is who I turn to for affirmation that it's okay to care about friendships and soul-expanding experiences more than anything else--or at least, never to question the centrality of those things and to struggle, if need be, to make...more
Mary Jane
i think I may have read memoir of Sarton renovating an old farmhouse in Dublin, NH, this before, but my younger self would not have appreciated it as I did this time--meditations on aging, creativity, the discipline of writing--very moving.
Scott
Loved! A favorite.
Susan
Sometimes rereading a book treasured in adolescence is a disappointment--but this account of how the poet/novelist/diarist found and made her home in the small New Hampshire town of Nelson has gained resonance for me with the family losses that recent years have brought. This journal is a moving account of the challenges, practical and spirtual, of her uprooting and resettling and even I, a determined non-gardener, enjoyed the ongoing story of how she made her garden.
Constance Kwinn
An introverted, middle-aged novelist/poet purchases a run-down country home to connect with herself and her art, create a nest for the precious objects she's collected and inherited, and pursue a quiet life in communion with Nature. It's a sweet, thoughtful memoir of personal influences and what makes a home.

If you think you might find this precious, you probably will. I found it precious in the good way.
Kathy
There is something about books that are about houses and gardens that captures my soul. This is my favorite May Sarton, because the story of the creation of this home space is so..bright, so luscious. A book in which the floor boards seem to have a particular character. And the gardens, the interior and the exterior. And the heart. The passion of the ordinary. Love it.
Hilary
I adore this book. Even as a 20-something woman, I felt such a kinship with the elder May Sarton as I read it. And I felt like her journey to put down roots and to express herself into a place via the creation of her home was very moving and impressed me deeply. Ever since, I have longed to own a home to wrap myself into as well.
Black Elephants
For a book about a poet who buys her first house in the quiet landscape of New Hampshire, this was a gripping read. I finished it in day. The language, the pacing, the imagery, the storytelling were so wonderful that I just didn't want to put the book down until I was done. This is probably one of my favorite reads of the year.
Mauras
Carolyn Heilbrun--see Writing A Woman's Life--says May Sarton wrote this autobiog about buying a house and living alone and then wrote another later (Journal of a Solitude) about the same time, only including all the difficult feelings and dark parts of the experience and herself, that she left out of the first book.
Lisago5
I enjoy all of Sarton's books. This may be my favorite -- reminds me of Celestine Sibley's book, A Place Called Sweet Apple. There's something very transformative about the middle aged woman who takes a fixer-upper house and renovates it to become a haven for her artistic endeavors.
Jean
one of the best Sarton books - get in beside this sometimes cranky but always tasteful lady and enjoy her NH property and interior thoughts. Some deep thoughts on mutability of life and how shall we live...but I liked it just as much for the descriptions.
Deborahkemp
I've always admired Sarton's poetry but based on a recommendation by Margaret Roach (see http://awaytogarden.com/book/giveaway...), I decided to read this book about Sarton's home, garden and life living alone.
Lynne-marie
This is as if a prequel to "Journal of Solitude." It specifies the town in New Hampshire where Sarton lived and characterizes its people. It is made up of her daily life jottings. It fits with its companion beautifully and is as beautifully written.
Maryjoamani
Another lovely insightful journal by May Sarton when she retreats to solitude in rural community in New England. I highly recommend all her journals...this and The House by the Sea as well.
Jayme
Very creative in relating her own experiences in buying a home and moving to a new place to life as a whole, in how we learn and grow. Very insightful. I definitely recommend May Sarton.
Dottie
One of my earliest of Sarton's and it convinced me to explore her in depth -- I'm not done yet but this one holds a special spot in the collection -- and I've rereead it at least once.
Jennifer
Just an absolutely lovely, lovely book, perhaps made more precious to me for its picturing of life in New England... it made me nostalgic and hopeful and content in so many ways.
Mel
i love this book and love re-reading it and obsessively underlining. if you can't get into her journals this may be the gateway...
Anita
I become hooked on Ms. Sarton by picking up her journal of a solitude and this book just confirms my choice in adoring her work.
Claire
Wonderful meander through thoughts of solitary life. Oddly resonate with me. I'd recommend it to someone that likes to ponder.
Lynn
I loved reading this book. Didn't know what to expect but it was a wonderfuld read.
Russell
just another great may sarton book
Mary Narkiewicz
Another great early May Sarton book.
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13166
May Sarton (May 3, 1912-July 16, 1995) was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist born in Wondelgem, Belgium. Many of her novels and poems are pellucid reflections of the lesbian experience.

More about May Sarton...
Journal of a Solitude The Fur Person The House by the Sea As We Are Now Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing

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