Now I Become Myself (poem) by May Sarton

“Now I Become Myself” is a beloved poem by May Sarton (1912 – 1995) that captures the spirit of a well-examined life.

How often do we, especially women, show up to life as someone other than our true self? We’re taught to be people-pleasers, so we wear the face and show the demeanor we think others will expect, instead of being who we truly are.

May Sarton was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist who spent a lifetime learning who she was.

In her journals, best known of which are Plant Dreaming Deep and Journal of a Solitude, she explored isolation, love, relationships, sexual identity, success, failure, gratitude, nature, the seasons, and the joys and struggles of a creative life.

The 1993 collection of May Sarton’s poems (W.W. Norton, NY), encapsulates what she achieved with her body of poetry:

“Arranged chronologically, these poems reveal the full breadth of Sarton’s creative vision. Themes include the search for an inward order, her passions, the natural world, self-knowledge, and, in her latest poems, the trials of old age.

Moving through Sarton’s work, we see her at ease in both traditional forms and free verse, finding inspiration in snow over a dark sea, a cat’s footfall on the stairs, an unexpected love affair. Here is the creative process itself, its sources, demands, and joys – a handbook of the modern poetic psyche.”

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May Sarton 1937 painting by Polly Thayer StarrSelf-Searching Quotes from Journal of a Solitude
(1937  Portrait of May Sarton by Polly Thayer Starr)