Heart In Hand

This poem by May Sarton always leaves me standing in awe at the power found in words and with my “heart in hand”.


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heart in hand © westcoastwoman


Now I Become Myself

by May Sarton

Now I become myself. It’s taken

Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken,

Worn other people’s faces,

Run madly, as if Time were there,

Terribly old, crying a warning,

“Hurry, you will be dead before – ”

(What? Before you reach morning?

Or the end of the poem is clear?

Or love safe in the walled city?)

Now to stand still, to be here,

Feel my own weight and density!

The black shadow on the paper

Is my hand; the shadow of a word

As thought shapes the shaper

Falls heavy on the page, is heard.

All fuses now, falls into place

From wish to action, word to silence,

My work, my love, my time, my face

Gathered into one intense

Gesture of growing like a plant.

As slowly as the ripening fruit

Fertile, detached, and always spent,

Falls but does not exhaust the root,

So all the poem is, can give,

Grows in me to become the song,

Made so and rooted by love.

Now there is time and Time is young.

O, in this single hour I live

All of myself and do not move.

I, the pursued, who madly ran,

Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!








10 thoughts on “Heart In Hand

    1. Agreed. I discovered this poem at a workshop, as the facilitator handed the sheets of paper out the woman sitting across from me in the circle recognized it from the title and a tear ran down her cheek. So even before I read it, it was introduced.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. WOW!!! Thank you for posting this powerful poem!! I had read her “Journal of a Solitude,” decades ago, but came across this poem before. Apparently her books of poetry were written in between the novels she wrote, and were more important to her. She said they forecast what she was feeling at the time and would later help her better understand herself. Writing can do that for some who undertake it seriously. For her, it was a full-time occupation and a passion. Her output was prodigious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always enjoy your enthusiastic comments. This poem reminds me very much of “The Journey” by Mary Oliver but perhaps a little further down the path.:) I have not read “Journal of Solitude” but will add that to my ever growing list/pile of books to read. I recently found out there is a word for this problem? in Japanese……. “Tsundoku”


      1. I meant to write that I had never come across that poem before. I translated that Japanese word and it means “Reading”. So Google Translate didn’t convey the meaning. How do they use it? But I know what you mean about books piling up and not being read. I have the hardest time finishing what I started reading. And the rest just sit there. I think the internet, and our addiction to easily accessible information, and shortening attention spans are to blame. I read a lot online, but it’s not the same as curling up with a book and getting lost in that world. When I do I wonder what took me so long. It’s a relief!

        Liked by 1 person

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