Sarton, May

Sarton, May, 1912–95, American poet and novelist, b. Wondelgem, Belgium. Her father was the science historian George Sarton; the family moved to the United States in 1916. Although cast in traditional molds and extremely lyrical, her poetry is modern in its wit and avoidance of dogmatism. In poetry and prose she concentrated on themes of love, solitude, individual uniqueness, and self-knowledge. Among her volumes of poetry are Encounter in April (1937), In Time Like Air (1957), Collected Poems 1930–1973 (1974), and Coming Into Eighty (1994). Her many novels include The Bridge of Years (1946), Faithful Are The Wounds (1955), The Small Room (1961), Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965), As We Are Now (1973), A Reckoning (1978), Anger (1982), and The Education of Harriet Hatfield (1989). She is also known for such autobiographical works as Plant Dreaming Deep (1969), Journal of a Solitude (1973), Recovering (1980), Encore: A Journal of the 80th Year (1993), and At Eighty-Two (1995).

See biography by A. Sibley (1972); studies by C. Hunting, ed. (1982), E. Evans (1989), and S. Swartzlander and M. R. Mumford, ed. (1992).

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