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At Seventy: A Journal
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At Seventy: A Journal

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Prolific poet and novelist, author of six nonfiction books and heaped with academic honors, Sarton has fashioned her journals, sonatas as she calls them, into a distinctive literary form: relaxed yet shapely, a silky weave of reflection, sensuous observation and record of her daily round, with the reader made companion to her inmost thoughts. . . . It s a book rich in warm ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 17th 1987 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1984)
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This is the second May Sarton journal I've read and I have to say I'm growing quite fond of her. Admittedly, I'm haunted by the thought that she wouldn't like me very much, that she would find my fidgety, foolish youth cloying to spend time with. May Sarton makes me long to be wise and 'old' and therefore "more myself than I have ever been".

I always have to smile when she writes things like:
"For the first time in weeks I have three whole days to myself, and it is heaven not trying to take in an
I started the series of journals with the second installment Journal of a Solitude, covering one of her last years in NH; she makes the decision to move to ME during that time. There's a section in this one dealing with some NH folks who were covered in the first book Plant Dreaming Deep, so I was mildly concerned that I hadn't read that one earlier, but no big deal. I had been going to college in Maine during the period covered here, and don't recall the weather as having been as severe as she ...more
Linda Robinson
A friend recommended this book of the many Sarton tomes she's read, and I'm glad she did. Quite personal, and I felt like a welcomed friend invited for the weekend. It's a comfort to know that I may perhaps look forward to more serenity and appreciation of beauty as I approach 70, even though the garden will be more of a challenge. A lovely walk by the shore with an accomplished writer.
At seventy-two, it's time for me to read this again. I have read several of her journals and they all make me so happy that I moved to Maine.
Stacey Daze
May Sarton lets us into her seventieth year of life. I was intrigued by the idea, and it was interesting to read her thoughts, ideas, and actions from that time. I got to know her and her writing process better, though the process was not the main focus. The main focus was simply getting through her days, but she was as busy and constant as ever.
A lovely book about a writer's daily life at the age of 70. Maine's rugged climate plays a major role, and Sarton makes huge efforts to have a lovely flower garden in the very brief summer. I was amazed at how MANY visitors she had, and how many times a year she flew or drove to places to sign books or give talks.

At first I wasn't certain I wouldn't get bored, but soon I was enchanted. I think she tried to give as honest a picture as she could of her life in that year. She says she craves solit
Torching read... A slice out of a warmhearted woman's life. Except...
She sure didn't like President Reagan. Probably would like our socialist Obama better.
Cindy Jacobsen
I've been slogging through this book off and on for a month. I love journals, personal growth, day-to-day living, but this book was a disappointment. How many lunches/dinners/rainy days/"I need to be alone"/"I am alone"/I need to be alone/I had lunch with...etc ... can one write about? I had really looked forward to this based on other reviews, but it did not speak to me. I am approaching my sixtieth year and understand milestones; this was not a book that offered any depth. To be fair, her desc ...more
Feb 07, 2015 Ted marked it as to-read
Cited in HOW TO AGE
May Sarton's sensitivity and independence, her devotion to the art of poetry and novel, her friendships with women, her passion for gardening on the coast of Maine, all add up to a fascinating read by a woman who decided to choose a life of literature and sometimes felt a clash between obligation to others' needs and her own need to create. She describes the political conflicts of the 1980's as well.
So apparently, I want the life of a semi-retired poet/writer. To garden, take walks, OWN A HOUSE BY THE SEA, correspond with my many admirers and friends, travel and read my poems to appreciative audiences. Better get on that whole "writing" thing then.
A lovely journal of beautiful thoughts about peacefulness, the joys of gardening and friendships, much like the way a sophisticated Grandmother would talk.
I can only hope to be this vital and perceptive at seventy. I kept boggling at the amount of letter writing Sarton did.
Lillian Blessing
I treasure all my books by May Sarton. My mother and I have enjoyed the books and her journals.
Jay Cardam
Sarton,never fails, to relax, calm and inspire. I love reading this lady.
Read this when you are about to turn 30, and 40, and 50, and so on.
Claudia Douris
Another gem by Ms. Sarton!!! I could read her forever!!!!
Kristine Manwaring
I read it wondering what life will be like when I am old...
Susan Maldrie
what can I say, I love May Sarton.
Jayne Yenko
excellent, very insightful
Tessa Jean
Tessa Jean marked it as to-read
Feb 18, 2015
Marlene Javage
Marlene Javage marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
Kathryn Bashaar
Kathryn Bashaar marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2015
Lin Canaan
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Jan 12, 2015
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May Sarton was born on May 3, 1912, in Wondelgem, Belgium, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her first volume of poetry, Encounters in April, was published in 1937 and her first novel, The Single Hound, in 1938. An accomplished memoirist, Sarton boldly came out as a lesbian in her 1965 book Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing. Her later memoir, Journal of a Solitude, was an account of h ...more
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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“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.” 57 likes
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