At Seventy: A Journal

At Seventy: A Journal

May Sarton

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0393310302

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"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 warmth, perceptiveness and reassurance.” ―Publishers Weekly

May Sarton―poet, novelist, and chronicler―occupies a special place in American letters. This new journal chronicles the year that began on May 3, 1982, her seventieth birthday. At her home in Maine, she savors “the experience of being alive in this beautiful place,” reflecting on nature, friends, and work. “Why is it good to be old?” she was asked at one of her lectures. “Because,” she said, “I am more myself than I have ever been.”

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Cheaper by the Dozen (Cheaper by the Dozen, Book 1)

Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir

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grandchildren and, before that, in the children she taught, sowed light like some miraculous seed. Always in our relationship she brought me back to the essence. I suppose her greatest gift was that of accepting people as they are. How few people are capable of that! Her marriage had never been easy, but in the last years those seeds of light she had sown in Jean, her husband, came to flower, and they spent the years of old age in perfect accord and peace. It was she who kept the household

although it has to be admitted that I wrote my new novel Anger in an agony of self-doubt most of the year, the hardest subject I have attempted to deal with in a novel since Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing. There I was breaking new ground, giving myself away. I was fifty-three and I deliberately made Mrs. Stevens seventy, and now here I am at what then seemed eons away, safely “old.” I have always longed to be old, and that is because all my life I have had such great exemplars of old

I went out without a coat on to brush a path to the road and to the bird feeders; it is still just under freezing. The edge of my mind is not as sharp as it should be because I had quite a New Year’s Eve yesterday, and an amusing and enlivening one, the best I can remember for many a year. I got off a flotilla of notes in the morning, thanking for presents, then at noon met Dr. Annella Brown, formerly head surgeon at New England Hospital, who had invited me out for lunch at The Whistling Oyster

shut them out and concentrate, hard to create. All of this made me forget to call Georgia as I had promised to do yesterday evening! But maybe tomorrow I can take Tamas on a real walk—he has had only small ones since the snow—and get back to the novel, if only to think about it for two hours. It is very cold, wind chill below zero, certainly. Ten above when I came upstairs at three. I have lost four pounds in five days so far. But now and then these days I have so wished I could make some

Jean-Do would be to know that at seventy I live by the sea, and all those images are newly minted for me today “like a cool pebble for my thirst,” “and my soul with the sea in it, and the tempest at dawn, pale and fresh as a shining shell.” (But where is the music in English?) Then Lugné-Poë, my father in the theater, was a constant challenger and giver of courage during the theater years. I see his immense devouring smile and remember my pet name for him, “mon éléphant.” So he always signed his

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