May Sarton

(1912-1995 / Belgium)

May Sarton
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May Sarton is the pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995), an American poet, novelist, and memoirist.

Sarton was born in Wondelgem, Belgium (today a part of the city of Ghent). Her parents were science historian George Sarton and his wife, the English artist Mabel Eleanor Elwes. When German troops invaded Belgium after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, her family fled to Ipswich, England where Sarton's maternal grandmother lived. One year later, they moved to Boston, Massachusetts. She went to school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating from Cambridge High and Latin School in 1929. She started theatre lessons in her late teens, but ... more »

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Quotations

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  • May we agree that private life is irrelevant? Multiple, mixed, ambiguous at best—out of it we try to fashion the crystal clear, the singular, the absolute, and that is what is relevant; that is w...
    May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Hilary Stevens, in Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
  • ''It is the privilege of those who fear love to murder those who do not fear it!''
    May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Hilary Stevens, in Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
  • The creative person, the person who moves from an irrational source of power, has to face the fact that this power antagonizes. Under all the superficial praise of the "creative" is the desire to kill...
    May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
  • ''When one's not writing poems—and I'm not at the moment—you wonder how you ever did it. It's like another country you can't reach.''
    May Sarton (1912-1995), U.S. author. As quoted in Women Writers Talking, ch. 1, by Janet Todd (1983).
  • ...I feel more alive when I'm writing than I do at any other time—except when I'm making love. Two things when you forget time, when nothing exists except the moment—the moment of writing, t...
    May Sarton (1912-1995), U.S. author. As quoted in Women Writers Talking, ch. 1, by Janet Todd (1983).
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