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(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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  • 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).
  • The woman who needs to create works of art is born with a kind of psychic tension in her which drives her unmercifully to find a way to balance, to make herself whole. Every human being has this need:...
    May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Hilary Stevens, in Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
  • The poet must be free to love or hate as the spirit moves him, free to change, free to be a chameleon, free to be an enfant terrible. He must above all never worry about his effect on other people. Po...
    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).
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