This is the second journal written by May Sarton. The previous journal covered the poet's decision to stop sharing a house with her long time lover Judith Matlack and to move into a house of her own following the death of her parents. During this period May Sarton was undergoing a very productive period in terms of her writing and reviewing and felt that she needed solitude in order to write.
The period of the books covers dealing with the death of her parents, personal depression, the results of the ending of her physical relationship with Judy, the struggle to produce poetry and her intimate relationship with her garden. The main theme of the book is her struggle to obtain the solitude she thinks she needs in order to write and the people who come into her life during this period.
Sarton's body of work is heavy reading, but in her journals she achieves a lightness of touch that makes you want to rush to the end to see if she achieves what she wants. "Solitude" is probably one of the best known and most easily digested works by this much understudied writer.
This report prepared by Lynn Bradshaw