Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places.

May Sarton

May Sarton

Profession: Poet
Nationality: Belgian

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My anger, because I am old, is considered a sign of madness or senility. Is this not cruel? Are we to be deprived even of righteous anger? Is even irritability to be treated as a symptom? There.

Don't deprive me of my age. I have earned it.

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

One thing is certain, and I have always known it—the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about ...

Solitude itself is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. And that is why solitude is never static and never hopeless. On the other hand, every friend who comes to stay enriches the solitude forever; presence, if it has been real presence, does not ever leave.

In the end what kills is not agony (for agony at least asks something of the soul) but everyday life.

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

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

I feel more alive when I'm writing than I do at any other time--except maybe when I'm making love.

We fear disturbance, change, fear to bring to light and to talk about what is painful. Suffering often feels like failure, but it is actually the door into growth.

Must not a poet hunt the unicorn through bush and bramble, through snow and fire, over desert and mountain, through thickets and over long barren roads even though he suspects sometimes that the unicorn does not exist- or exists only in his imagination?

Schubert Impromptus that Louise Bogan gave me—Opus 90 and Opus 142, Gieseking.

Sometimes I imagine life itself as merely a long preparation and waiting, a long darkness of growth toward these adventures of the spirit, a picaresque novel, so to speak, in which the episodes are all inward.

She became for me an island of light, fun, wisdom where I could run with my discoveries and torments and hopes at any time of day and find welcome.