Tag Archives: At Seventy A Journal

Book Moments Three, May Sarton

Book Moments Three, May Sarton, April 19

My morning tea with May Sarton

 

The topic today is silence. On page 75 of  At Seventy,  May says that she is …

“beginning to feel like a camel in sore need of an oasis. The oasis is silence. I woke up in the night starving for silence, for time alone here.”

May often addresses the inner chaos vs. the inner order and the struggle it presents from day to day. She is well known by her readers to work in her garden of flowers with plants to clear the senses and compose the mind.

“There is a special August silence in the heavy air. The birds do not sing. The ocean sighs in the distance. The whole tempo slows down.”

The kind of silence she seeks requires solitude. A good deal of May’s poems are about variations of silence that she treats as sacred to her well being and to her creative work. If you know some of her poems, you might be familiar with After Silence, The Silence Now, After a Winter’s Silence, The Land of Silence, and her most popular …

Halfway to Silence

I was halfway to Silence

Halfway to land’s end

When I heard your voice.

Shall I take you with me?

Shall we go together

All the way to silence,

All the way to land’s end?

Is there a choice?

May Sarton’s house by the sea in Maine.

Flowers are “silent presences” in her house in every room—as she writes in so many of her journals.

 

 

Visit May’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/May-Sarton/e/B000AQ48TS

 

What thoughts do you have about the sound of silence? If you found a portal to a deep silence, would  you enter or shy away?

 

Book Moments Four, May Sarton, May 3, 2022

 

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Book Moments Two, May Sarton

Book Moments Two! Thursday, April 7

My morning tea with May Sarton

My morning reads with May continue to enlighten my days. On pages 49-51 of At Seventy, A Journal, May considers her age in the act of writing a journal, her search to express honesty, and the recurring springtime. She mentions sculptor Anne Truitt’s Daybook: The Journal of an Artist and French Romantic painter  Eugene Delacroix’s Journals as examples of artists who illuminate through writing a daily journal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mays says …

“I envy the painter who does not have to use elusive, sometimes damaged, often ambivalent words. I find that keeping a journal again validates and clarifies. For the hour I manage in the morning at this task, I am happy, at ease with myself and the world, even when I am complaining of pressure.”

“I sometimes feel old these days when I am suddenly made aware of the little time ahead. It came to me with a sharp pang when I found myself saying, as I have done every spring for years, Housman’s poem …

And since to look at things in bloom

fifty springs are little room

About the woodland I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

 

“I have at most ten or fifteen springs! Is that possible? Almost a lifetime gone. On the other side though, what I do have is seventy springs in my head, and they flow back with all their riches now.”

 

 

May’s words open a new perspective here for me. To look at age in terms of how many springs we have left to enjoy the blooming of flowers and bursting of green trees. For those of us who are nearing the age of seventy or living within the decade of seventy years, this is especially poignant.

How many springs are inside your head? How many autumns or summers? How many seasons do you expect to enjoy in the coming years?

 

 

Here is May’s poem about spring.

Metamorphosis
Always it happens when we are not there–
The tree leaps up alive into the air,
Small open parasols of Chinese green
Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen
The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?
Spring always manages to get there first.
Lovers of wind, who will have been aware
Of a faint stirring in the empty air,
Look up one day through a dissolving screen
To find no star, but this multiplied green,
Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.
Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!

 

Visit May Sarton’s Amazon.com Page: https://www.amazon.com/May-Sarton/e/B000AQ48TS

 

Visit Book Moments Three, April 19

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Book Moments with May Sarton.

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