Skip to main content

Sarton, May

May Sarton, 1912–95, American poet and novelist, b. Wondelgem, Belgium. Her father was the science historian George Sarton; the family moved to the United States in 1916. Although cast in traditional molds and extremely lyrical, her poetry is modern in its wit and avoidance of dogmatism. In poetry and prose she concentrated on themes of love, solitude, individual uniqueness, and self-knowledge. Among her volumes of poetry are Encounter in April (1937), In Time Like Air (1957), Collected Poems 1930–1973 (1974), and Coming Into Eighty (1994). Her many novels include The Bridge of Years (1946), Faithful Are The Wounds (1955), The Small Room (1961), Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965), As We Are Now (1973), A Reckoning (1978), Anger (1982), and The Education of Harriet Hatfield (1989). She is also known for such autobiographical works as Plant Dreaming Deep (1969), Journal of a Solitude (1973), Recovering (1980), Encore: A Journal of the 80th Year (1993), and At Eighty-Two (1995).

See biography by A. Sibley (1972); studies by C. Hunting, ed. (1982), E. Evans (1989), and S. Swartzlander and M. R. Mumford, ed. (1992).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sarton, May." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 22 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Sarton, May." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (July 22, 2018).

"Sarton, May." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 22, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.