May 3 ~  Hopeful Gardeners At 82: A Journal

"Help us to be the always hopeful gardeners of the spirit who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers." ~ May Sarton

May Sarton's biography

A gardener of the spirit, Eleanore Marie Sarton (1912-1995) was born on this day in Wondelgem, Belgium. A poet, novelist, and journal writer, she moved with her family to England then the U.S. following the outbreak of World War I. She began publishing poetry at age 17.

"In the country of pain we are each alone," she wrote. For a time Sarton taught creative writing and wrote book reviews to support her career as a poet.

Sarton spoke to the spirit of her readers... As a friend and confidant. With honest creativity, her words celebrated life and relationships.

About her craft, she once said, "What I tell people about poetry is, 'If you want to read poets, read what you find nourishing. Don't read what you think is fashionable, or the thing to know. Be like an animal looking for food, for the kind of food it can digest.'"

Critics have praised the passion and insight of her words. Sheila Ballantyne described Sarton as "a seeker of truth with a kind of awesome energy for renewal, an ardent explorer of life's important questions."

Sarton wrote over 30 volumes of poetry and fiction and was best known for her letters and journals which chronicled her life in a small house along an isolated Maine coast. In her eloquent novel Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1972), Sarton examined her character's need to create "at the expense of herself as a woman."

The writer viewed her life as "a timeless ascent" toward "more light." She examined love, solitude, and self-knowledge and observed, "We have to believe that every person counts, counts as a creative force that can move mountains."

More May SARTON Quotations

Celebrate LifeFrom darkness and light... REBIRTH!