Paris Review – May Sarton, The Art of Poetry No. 32

This is my vision for myself

The author of a remarkably varied body of work, May Sarton lives by herself in York, Maine, in a former “summer cottage,” quite isolated, at the end of a long dirt road. The road curves through a well-kept wood ending at “The House by the Sea” (the title of one of her journals). The house, formal in design, is of pale yellow clapboard fronted by a flagstone terrace. It faces, across a rolling meadow, the deep blue of the ocean marked here and there by a line of white foam. It is a late November afternoon and growing cold. The flower beds around the house, running along the fence and at the edge of the terraces, are all banked for winter. Her little Sheltie, Tamas, alerts her to the arrival of a guest, and she comes to greet me at the gate.Possessed of that profound attentiveness characteristic of true charm, May Sarton has, at the same time, an exuberant nature. Her voice, full of inflection and humor, expresses the range of her personality. It has been called a “burnished” voice and it makes for spellbinding poetry readings, which she gives frequently—at places from small New England churches to the Library of Congress, and at colleges everywhere.

Source: Paris Review – May Sarton, The Art of Poetry No. 32


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