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Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale Biography

Sara Teasdale belongs to the prominent poets, who were interested in lyrical poetry. During her life, she succeeded and made a writing career, which brings her fame.

Childhood

Sarah was born on August 8, 1884, in a rich family. From the very beginning, she was a weak child with some health problems. So, until the age of nine, she was not attending school but taught privately at home. When she reached ten years, her health condition seemed to strengthen, and now Sarah was ready for school. In 1898, she enrolled at Mary Institute, but next year she changed it. In 1903 she was a graduate of Hosmer Hall. The family had two homes, 3668 Lindell Blvd and another was in St. Louis, Missouri. Sarah’s mother designed both homes. The one in St. Louis had a special entrance into Sarah’s room, where she usually worked, slept and was on her own. Guests had a separate entrance and did not come without the consent of hosts.

Later, in 1904 she joined the circle of female artists. The mentor of The Potters group was Lillie Rose Ernst. They published their arts, poetry, and prose in the magazine under the title The Potter’s Wheel. Sarah had been the member of the group for three years.

The first publication of her poem was in 1907 in a literary magazine titled Reedy’s Mirror. It was the year, when the first collection of her poems, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems, was released.

Early years

In 1911, Teasdale published her second collection of sonnets under the title Helen of Troy and Other Poems. The feedback from both readers and critics was quite pleasant. It was impossible not to notice the spirit of romanticism and lyrical mood in her verses. That was the period when Sarah had a lot of admirers. One of them was a poet from America, who is considered to lay the ground for a new genre known as singing poetry.

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay fell in love with Sarah. However, he thought he would not be able to sustain her financially as well as make her happy. In 1914, Sarah married Ernst Filsinger, who was her biggest fan. In 1915 the third volume of her verses came out. It was published under the title Rivers to the Sea and seemed to become one of the readers’ favorites. Besides, it was so popular that was published a couple times. The next year, the young couple moved to New York.

In 1917, her next collection was released. And in 1918 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Love Songs collection of poems.

Ernst was engaged in his business and had to travel most of the time, which made Sarah lead a lonely life. In 1929, they divorced, and she moved to another house, which was not far from her previous home. Now, Teasdale wanted to refresh her friendship with V. Lindsay, who currently was a married man with children.

Poetry of Sarah Teasdale

In addition to collections, mentioned above, there were a few others:

  • Flame and Shadow
  • Dark of the Moon
  • Stars Tonight
  • Strange Victory

What is more, some of her poems gained popularity due to an appearance in works of other writers, such as “There Will Come Soft Rains” became a title for a story of R. Bradbury.

The poem “Stars” became famous due to a Latvian composer, who had set it as a choral song. Beside this poem, “Dusk in June” and “May Night” are as well set to music.

Death

Sarah Teasdale died in 1933, because of overdosing her pills. Her body rests in St. Louis Bellefontaine Cemetery. What is interesting, is the fact that her poem “ I Shall Not Care” is considered to be her death note. It has a tone of depression and topics on death, which gives an idea of a suicide note. However, it may be just a coincidence as far as it has been written long before she died.

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Message

I heard a cry in the night, A thousand miles it came,Sharp as a flash of light, My name, my name! It was your voice I heard, You waked and loved me so—I send you back this word, I know, I know!

Doctors

Every night I lie awake And every day I lie abedAnd hear the doctors, Pain and Death, Confering at my head.They speak in scientific tones, Professional and low—One argues for a speedy cure, The other, sure and slow.To one so humble as myself It should be matter for some prideTo have such noted fellows here,…

The Coin

Into my heart’s treasury I slipped a coinThat time cannot take Nor a thief purloin, —Oh better than the minting Of a gold-crowned kingIs the safe-kept memory Of a lovely thing.

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The Giver

You bound strong sandals on my feet, You gave me bread and wine,And sent me under sun and stars, For all the world was mine. Oh, take the sandals off my feet, You know not what you do;For all my world is in your arms, My sun and stars are you.

Only In Sleep

Only in sleep I see their faces, Children I played with when I was a child,Louise comes back with her brown hair braided, Annie with ringlets warm and wild. Only in sleep Time is forgotten — What may have come to them, who can know? Yet we played last night as long ago,And the doll-house…

It Will Not Change

It will not change now After so many years;Life has not broken it With parting or tears;Death will not alter it, It will live onIn all my songs for you When I am gone.

Dew

I dream that he is mine, I dream that he is true,And all his words I keep As rose-leaves hold the dew. O little thirsty rose, O little heart beware,Lest you should hope to hold A hundred roses’ share.

On The Dunes

If there is any life when death is over, These tawny beaches will know much of me,I shall come back, as constant and as changeful As the unchanging, many-colored sea. If life was small, if it has made me scornful, Forgive me; I shall straighten like a flameIn the great calm of death, and if…

The Fountain

Oh in the deep blue night The fountain sang alone;It sang to the drowsy heart Of a satyr carved in stone.The fountain sang and sang But the satyr never stirred—Only the great white moon In the empty heaven heard.The fountain sang and sang And on the marble rimThe milk-white peacocks slept, Their dreams were strange…

A Fantasy

Her voice is like clear water That drips upon a stoneIn forests far and silent Where Quiet plays alone. Her thoughts are like the lotus Abloom by sacred streamsBeneath the temple arches Where Quiet sits and dreams. Her kisses are the roses That glow while dusk is deepIn Persian garden closes Where Quiet falls asleep.

The Lamp

If I can bear your love like a lamp before me,When I go down the long steep Road of Darkness,I shall not fear the everlasting shadows,    Nor cry in terror. If I can find out God, then I shall find Him,If none can find Him, then I shall sleep soundly,Knowing how well on earth your love…

Snowfall

“She can’t be unhappy,” you said, “The smiles are like stars in her eyes,And her laugh is thistledown Around her low replies.”“Is she unhappy?” you said — But who has ever knownAnother’s heartbreak — All he can know is his own;And she seems hushed to me, As hushed as thoughHer heart were a hunter’s fire…

The Mystery

Your eyes drink of me, Love makes them shine,Your eyes that lean So close to mine. We have long been lovers, We know the rangeOf each other’s moods And how they change; But when we look At each other soThen we feel How little we know; The spirit eludes us, Timid and free —Can I…

Longing

I am not sorry for my soulThat it must go unsatisfied,For it can live a thousand times,Eternity is deep and wide. I am not sorry for my soul,But oh, my body that must goBack to a little drift of dustWithout the joy it longed to know.

I Would Live In Your Love

I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads.

In The Train

Fields beneath a quilt of snowFrom which the rocks and stubble sleep,And in the west a shy white starThat shivers as it wakes from deep. The restless rumble of the train,The drowsy people in the car,Steel blue twilight in the world,And in my heart a timid star.

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright AprilShakes out her rain-drenched hair,Though you shall lean above me broken-hearted,I shall not care. I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peacefulWhen rain bends down the bough;And I shall be more silent and cold-heartedThan you are now.

Since There Is No Escape

Since there is no escape, since at the end My body will be utterly destroyed,This hand I love as I have loved a friend, This body I tended, wept with and enjoyed;Since there is no escape even for me Who love life with a love too sharp to bear:The scent of orchards in the rain,…

Water Lilies

If you have forgotten water lilies floating On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance, Then you can return and not be afraid. But if you remember, then turn away forever To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,There you will not come…

Tides

Love in my heart was a fresh tide flowing Where the starlike sea gulls soar;The sun was keen and the foam was blowing High on the rocky shore.But now in the dusk the tide is turning, Lower the sea gulls soar,And the waves that rose in resistless yearning Are broken forevermore.

A Prayer

When I am dying, let me knowThat I loved the blowing snow Although it stung like whips;That I loved all lovely thingsAnd I tried to take their stings With gay unembittered lips;That I loved with all my strength,To my soul’s full depth and length, Careless if my heart must break,That I sang as children singFitting…

In A Cuban Garden

Hibiscus flowers are cups of fire, (Love me, my lover, life will not stay)The bright poinsettia shakes in the wind, A scarlet leaf is blowing away. A lizard lifts his head and listens — Kiss me before the noon goes by,Here in the shade of the ceiba hide me From the great black vulture circling…

Sleepless

If I could have your arms tonight—But half the world and the broken seaLie between you and me. The autumn rain reverberates in the courtyard,Beating all night against the barren stone,The sound of useless rain in the desolate courtyardMakes me more alone. If you were here, if you were only here—My blood cries out to…

The Dreams Of My Heart

The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,Nothing stays with me long,But I have had from a childThe deep solace of song; If that should ever leave me,Let me find death and stayWith things whose tunes are played out and forgottenLike the rain of yesterday.

Two Songs For Solitude: The Crystal Gazer

I shall gather myself into myself again,I shall take my scattered selves and make them one,I shall fuse them into a polished crystal ballWhere I can see the moon and the flashing sun. I shall sit like a sibyl, hour after hour intent,Watching the future come and the present go—And the little shifting pictures of…

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