May Sarton American Literature Analysis
Although she wrote novels, journals, memoirs and literary criticism, May Sarton considered poetry to be the primary means by which she expressed her creativity and identity. She wrote poetry as a child, and it was to poetry that she turned when she left the theater. She published seventeen collections of poetry, the first, Encounter in April, in 1937 and the last, Coming into Eighty, in 1994. Several themes dominated her poetry, including love relationships, her passion for the natural world, her devotion to art and music, her interest in aging and death, the dynamics of growth and change, solitude, travel, and contemporary social issues.
Although she wrote in free verse, the majority of her poems used stricter formal structures such as the sonnet. Four of her major poems were collections of sonnets. The sonnets in Encounter in April portrayed the depth of passion between two lovers and their inevitable separation and sense of loss. This pattern of love found and love failed dominated in two other sonnet sequences: “A Divorce of Lovers,” which recounted an emotionally painful separation, and “The Autumn Sonnet,” where the agony of lost love led eventually to a healing process and an acceptance of renewal. In Letters from Maine, the poet affirmed the desire for love that is sustained in late life. In Coming into Eighty, Sarton examined some of the universal metaphors of old age, including wisdom,...
(The entire section is 4138 words.)
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