May Sarton

How slowly one comes to understand anything!

I have never written a book that was not born out of a question I needed to answer for myself.

I write poems about relationships, love relationships, and I'm not able to do that all the time. I could go two years without writing poems, and then write a dozen. Having a novel to work on, with the intricate puzzle of character and plot to work out, is satisfying for the time there is no poetry.

It is the privilege of those who fear love to murder those who do not fear it!

No partner in a love relationship should feel that she has to give up an essential part of herself to make it viable.

One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.

One thing is certain, and I have always known it--the joys of my life have nothing to do with age.

Self-respect is nothing to hide behind. When you need it most it isn't there.

The creative person, the person who moves from an irrational source of power, has to face the fact that this power antagonizes. Under all the superficial praise of the "creative" is the desire to kill. It is the old war between the mystic and the nonmystic, a war to the death.

The hardest thing we are asked to do in this world is to remain aware of suffering, suffering about which we can do nothing.

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: in the artist it is mandatory. Unable to fulfill it, he goes mad. But when the artist is a woman she fulfills it at the expense of herself as a woman.

When one's not writing poems, you wonder how you ever did it. It's like another country you can't reach.

Words are more powerful than perhaps anyone suspects, and once deeply engraved in a child's mind, they are not easily eradicated.

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