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May Sarton: Poems

PRAYER BEFORE WORK

Great one, austere,

By whose intent the distant star

Holds its course clear,

Now make this spirit soar—

Give it that ease.

Out of the absolute

Abstracted grief, comfortless, mute,

Sound the clear note,

Pure, piercing as the flute:

Give it precision.

Austere, great one,

By whose grace the unalterable song

May still be wrested from

The corrupt lung:

Give it strict form.

A PRAYER

Help us to be the always hopeful

gardeners of the spirit

who know that without darkness

nothing comes to birth

as without light

nothing flowers.

May Sarton (1912-1995) was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist. She published more than 50 books, including novels, plays, poetry, and memoirs. Sarton was known for probing the ordinary things of life to find deeper truths.

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