David Reads “A Glass of Water,” by May Sarton

11/25/1992  --  York, ME  --  May Sarton, poet at home with portrait of her when she was 25 years old.   BGLSCAN
May Sarton with Polly Thayer Starr’s portrait Miss May Sarton (1937), 1992, via the Cambridge Historical Society

After work we had a dinner at the home of our friends Michael and James tonight. How lovely to be wined and dined by good people whom we haven’t spent enough time visiting with lately. It was good to catch up, and so nourishing to the soul to unwind and be taken care of like that. Thank you two for a much needed evening.

And so coming in late tonight with the recording for day 18 of my Poetry Month project, here is a poem by May Sarton. Click on her name for an in depth bio from the Poetry Foundation. She would turn 101 years old on May third if she were still with us. (That’s the birthday of a certain monkey you may know as well.)

I was introduced to her by a waitress I used to work with, and suffice it to say I find her work very nourishing, much like the time spent with friends tonight. And lord knows we all need that these days, to be away from the news and in touch with our hearts, and the warmth of  those who care about us.

I hope her poem is refreshing to you as well. It’s appropriately called “A Glass of Water.”

You can read more of her poems online in the archives of Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac.”

A Glass of Water

Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain;
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne.
Perhaps someone will pass this house one day
To drink, and be restored, and go his way,
Someone in dark confusion as I was
When I drank down cold water in a glass,
Drank a transparent health to keep me sane,
After the bitter mood had gone again.

“A Glass of Water” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems: 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton, 1993.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    Had not read any of her poetry….enjoyed your reading.


    1. Always fun to hear about introducing a new poet to someone. Thanks!


  2. Maya says:

    What does it mean to you? It is a wonderful poem, full of stillness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I like talking more about how the poem works and let the meaning speak for itself. But to know what I wished to share of what it means to me you only need read my commentary in this post. Those few paragraphs were not at all random, but completely tied to my feelings about the poem that night. 🙂


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