by May Sarton
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1939
94 Pages • Hardcover
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ADDRESS TO THE HEART
You cannot go back now to that innocence—
the pure pain that enters like a sword
making the bright blood flow
and the slow perfect healing, leaving you whole.
This is a deeper illness,
a poison that has entered every tissue:
Cut off your hand, you will not find it there.
This must be met and conquered in each separate atom,
must be lived out like a slow fever.
No part is mortally afflicted.
Each part will have its convalescence surely,
and yet you will arise from this infection
as one returns from death.
Sarton's second book of poetry seems to suggest her later need of solitude and the sanctuary that can bring for some people. The poems are still strong, though, but they speak to me of a need to center in on one's self and find the peace you are seeking in life there.