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The Silence Now: New and Uncollected Earlier Poems

Overview

“Her complex ideas are born into verse with the easy, simple beauty that is typical of her stunning lyric style.”—Boston Globe

"May Sarton has become one of America's best-loved writers. . . The publication of the first collection of primarily new verse in a decade will bring joy to her admirers. . . The more recent work is exquisitely tender, full of reverence for the most fleeting of beauties."

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Overview

“Her complex ideas are born into verse with the easy, simple beauty that is typical of her stunning lyric style.”—Boston Globe

"May Sarton has become one of America's best-loved writers. . . The publication of the first collection of primarily new verse in a decade will bring joy to her admirers. . . The more recent work is exquisitely tender, full of reverence for the most fleeting of beauties."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sarton is now in her mid-70s, and the title of her luminous new verse collection alludes to its underlying theme: old age. It's a time when she has ``more of everything to care for, to maintain.'' Her powers of observation have deepened: a cat's footfall on the stairs ``speaks of an eternal Now.'' In beautifully simple language shorn of all artifice, she speaks directly and with wisdom about grief, loneliness, death, coming to terms with one's life. There are a few topical poems, such as her inspirational hymn on the AIDS crisis and a sociological piece about the impact of the feminist movement on macho attitudes. This is Sarton's first volume of poetry since Selected Poems (1978). The clear-as-crystal diction of the recent works contrasts sharply with the 19 previously uncollected, much earlier lyrics that employ the tropes of traditional verse (falcons, lutes, towers, kingdoms). Notable among the latter group is a sonnet sequence in which love and poetry are responses to the poet's fear and trembling before God. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In her first book of poems in a decade, Sarton confronts the process of aging and its accompanying losses and gains. As in earlier poems and journals, nature is an ever-present solace in her solitudea condition she both embraces and berates. Yet her seclusion does not keep her from making social commentary in such poems as ``AIDS'' and ``New Year Poem,'' which tells us: ``Unless the gentle inherit the earth/ There will be no earth.'' The previously unpublished third section of poems includes a sonnet sequence that explores the conflict of love and art. Still writing in her mid-70s, Sarton proves that ``If old age is a house of gather,/ Then the hands are full.'' Grace Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393306354
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.

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