Poetic meditations on solitude by acclaimed author May Sarton This collection borrows its title from Sir Walter Raleigh, who wrote, “Love is a durable fire / In the mind ever burning.” It is a fitting sentiment for a collection on solitude, wherein the author finds herself full of emotion even in seclusion. The first poem, “Gestalt at Sixty,” finds the author reflecting on the joy and loneliness of being solitary. A Durable Fire is a transformative work by a masterful poet.
May Sarton (1912–1995) was born on May 3 in Wondelgem, Belgium, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her first volume of poetry, Encounters in April, was published in 1937 and her first novel, The Single Hound, in 1938. Her novels A Shower of Summer Days, The Birth of a Grandfather, and Faithful Are the Wounds, as well as her poetry collection In Time Like Air, all received nominations for the National Book Award.An accomplished memoirist, Sarton came out as a lesbian in her 1965 book Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing. Her memoir Journal of a Solitude (1973) was an account of her experiences as a female artist. Sarton spent her later years in York, Maine, living and writing by the sea. In her last memoir, Endgame: A Journal of the Seventy-Ninth Year (1992), she shares her own personal thoughts on getting older. Her final poetry collection, Coming into Eighty, was published in 1994. Sarton died on July 16, 1995, in York, Maine.read more