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(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933 / Missouri)

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"The Old Maid"

I saw her in a Broadway car,
The woman I might grow to be;
I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me.
Her hair was dull and drew no light,
And yet its color was as mine;
Her eyes were strangely like my eyes,
Tho' love had never made them shine.

Her body was a thing grown thin,
Hungry for love that never came;
Her soul was frozen in the dark,
Unwarmed forever by love's flame.

I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me –
His eyes were magic to defy
The woman I shall never be.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: woman, magic, car, hair, dark, light, love, women

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Comments about this poem (A Cry by Sara Teasdale )

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  • Penky Yumnam (10/5/2013 8:26:00 AM)

    gret poem, my mind was on the braodway car when i read

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Stevie Taite (10/5/2012 3:16:00 PM)

    More simply, we promise ourself we will not end up sad and lonely, because we are in that moment in time so happy and thankful for the love we share and feel. To me, she projects her lovers thoughts to suit her own requirements. She is experiencing the sight of the woman as a way of magnifying the feeling of deep euphoric love she has for the man. She counts herself lucky!

  • Lynne Fincherspringarden (10/5/2012 2:12:00 PM)

    This is a beautiful poem - written in old fashioned style as Emma commented. It expresses the sentiments of a young girl of that era. So blissfully in love and feeling empathy for another sister who has not been blessed as she. Knowing the era that this moment in time portrays, I think the Broadway car is a street car in which the three characters are riding. Blessings to Sarah may you never see a day without love wherever you are....

  • Savita Tyagi (10/5/2012 12:12:00 PM)

    One has to love oneself to have such strong faith in love. Beautiful poem.

  • Neela Nath (10/5/2012 8:47:00 AM)

    the other woman perhaps the altar ego of the poetess, who was looking sick and dull as the poetess's soul was sick for her lover's life.

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (10/5/2012 7:41:00 AM)

    Her body was a thing grown thin,
    Hungry for love that never came; ...

    Astonishing experience in poetry reading. Its the common feature of women in third world. Great..................Pranab k c

  • A B (10/5/2012 5:39:00 AM)

    gud 1...shows the thinking of women in general

  • Thumbelina Mumbelina (8/25/2012 12:22:00 PM)

    Amazing how so many would-be critics judge this poem so literally, when in fact it is an interpretation of someone's feelings put to verse.. This is one of my favorites, and not because I believe that if I do not have the same love my entire life that I will shrivel into an old maid. I love it because when I feel loved, there is a light inside of me that feels as if it shines (for those of you taking this poem literally, my eyes do not glow -rolls eyes) - embodying a youth and vitality of the spirit. When my partner looks at me, I feel loved. It might not last forever, but this song is something Sarah must have felt in a moment's pause. It is beautiful. And if you truly believe her that naive, then you clearly have not read all of her poetry.

  • Kevin Straw (8/7/2012 3:32:00 PM)

    Olivarez - please switch your brain on when you comment.

  • Juan Olivarez (10/5/2011 9:06:00 AM)

    The so very obvious that Kevin Straw missed two years ago is that she was not an old maid. She had a lover by her side, so she obviously was getting it on. So no matter what the future might hold, she was no old maid, she got some.

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