Barter Poem by Sara Teasdale

Barter

Rating: 3.8


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like the curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Bonnie Collins 28 December 2007

This is a fine piece to express, grab happiness while you can, for one hour's happiness is worth more than a lifetime of lonliness. Very touching, it is one of my favoirties of Sara Teasdale. Bonnie Collins

21 8 Reply
Stefan Weicberger 09 December 2009

A delightfully skillful expression of sentiment in popular visions of nature and human sensitivities.

15 11 Reply
Shelley B. Keats 31 January 2005

not up to Ms. Teasdale high standards. see: Thomas Love Beddoes, 'If there were dreams to sell...' and Emerson's 'Give all to love...' too deriative.

8 14 Reply
Shelley L Baxter-stanley 18 April 2007

Another Amazing, Amazing poem by a Brilliant poet! words to live by 'Spend all you have for loveliness, Buy it and never count the cost; For one white singing hour of peace Count many a year of strife well lost, And for a breath of ecstasy Give all you have been, or could be. ' Loving this poem...so happy I read it today as I forgot about how great it really was! =Shelley=

9 12 Reply
Gangadharan Nair Pulingat 18 December 2014

Great poetic expression on life and it so marvelous.

8 4 Reply
Evonne Duggan 12 April 2019

I am now 90 years old and learned this poem in the 7th grade. I have never forgotten it and love it still.

1 0 Reply
Alice Sessions 12 March 2019

We sang this in grade school. It helped form a life phylosophy. Stll loved at 88 years old

3 1 Reply
Nicole Settimi 13 February 2019

' Soaring fire that sways and sings, ' - best line. The arrangement of this is lovely. I love the imagery and metaphors, here. Great write. Xx NDS

1 1 Reply
Susan Williams 12 February 2018

She makes writing seem so easy that all you have to do is put a pen in your hand and beautiful words and images and wisdom will flow out onto the page as easy as water flows downhill.

3 2 Reply
Marieta Maglas 12 February 2018

She compares this kind of selling with a barter transaction.'Blue waves whitened on a cliff' make us think of purity, especially because the children are mentioned immediately after that. The cosmos has a perfect, eternal equilibrium. 'Loveliness' is a 'white singing ', the purity of voice necessary for peace. This poem is a pleading for love.Voted 10.

3 2 Reply
Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale

Missouri / United States
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