"I am far happier now, but in some ways less alive, and I miss that
acute aliveness. I enjoy everything tremendously - the sea, the
flowers, my life here, the animals - but I am seldom at the pitch
of ecstasy, and I sometimes feel that my mind itself has lost its
edge." Life in York, Maine, several years after the New Hampshire
Journal of a Solitude - poetry diminished ("I never imagined that
river could go dry - but it has"); perceptions temporarily dulled
by a lingering virus, then restored to familiar acuity; recurrent
brooding on aging and "the fear of death. . . or rather, I should
say, the fear of dying in some inappropriate or gruesome way." In
the earlier days of this two-year period, a search for equilibrium,
for uninterruption dominates: "It is not that I work all day; it is
that the work needs space around it." A large correspondence,
uninvited visitors, too many weeds among the marigolds disrupt and
interfere. Later, despite the deaths of cherished friends, the
drift into senility of others (including a longtime companion), the
intense, intrepid Sarton emerges: warming to friends and fine
conversation, railing against "the slack self-indulgent stuff that
passes for poetry these days," flourishing from honors accorded,
sharing her singular views - spring flowers in a snowstorm, a gray
and rosy sunrise, wineglass elms in the distance. An urgent press
for self-discovery, contemplative and "on the pulse." (Kirkus
By the Belgian born American poet and novelist, a memoir-journal,
in which she describes her first happy year in her new home by the
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