Biography of Sara Teasdale
Sara Trevor Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884 in St. Louis Missouri. She was the youngest child of Mary Elizabeth Willard and John Warren Teasdale. At the time of Sara's birth, Mary was 40, and John was 45. Teasdale had three other siblings. She had two brothers; George, who was the oldest child at 20, and John Warren Jr., was was 14. Teasdale also had a sister, named Mary (she was fondly called "Maime"), and she was 17. Mary loved her sister Sara and took very good care of her. Sara was named after her grandmother. Teasdale's first word was "pretty". According to her mother, Sara's love of pretty things was what inspired her poetry.
Teasdale was always very frail, and caught diseases easily. For most of her life, she had a nurse companion that took care of her. Teasdale grew up in a sheltered atmosphere. She was the youngest child. Because of that, she was spoiled and waited on like a princess. She never had to do normal chores, like make her bed, or do the dishes. She was known to have described herself as "a flower in a toiling world". Because she was so sickly, she was homeschooled until she was nine. She never had communication with her peers. Teasdale grew up around adults. She was forced to amuse heself with stories and things that she made up in her own lonesome world. When Teasdale was ten, she had the first communication with her peers. Her parents sent her to Miss Ellen Dean Lockwood's school for boys and girls. When she was fourteen, she went to Mary Institute. She didn't graduate there, but switched to Hosmer Hall when she was fifteen. There, she began to put the thoughts and dreams that amused her as a girl onto paper. Thus, she wrote her first poem. Teasdale's first published poem was "Reedy's Mirror", and it was published in a local newspaper. Her first collection, "Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems", was published in 1907. In 1911, her second collection, "Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems" was published. She published many other collections including "Rivers to the Sea", "Love Songs", "Flame and Shadow", "Dark of the Moon", "Stars To-night", and finally, "Strange Victory".
Teasdale married her sweetheart Ernst Filsinger in 1914. They had a happy marriage, but it was too good to last. They divorced in 1929, and she lived the rest of her life only for her poetry. Sara was always frail and sickly, but in 1933, Teasdale caught chronic pneumonia and it weakened her not only in body but also in mind and spirit. No longer able to see the beauty in simple things, Teasdale committed suicide at age 48 in New York, NY on January 29, 1933. Her final book of poetry was published that year.
Teasdale's works continue to be admired by poets everywhere. Her works show us what a lovely person she was, and how much she appreciated the beautiful things about life. Her love for beautiful things appeared in her poetry. She was a very talented poet, and we are glad she shared her talent with us.
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Sara Teasdale Poems
Advice To A Girl
No one worth possessing Can be quite possessed; Lay that on your heart, My young angry dear;
I am alone, in spite of love, In spite of all I take and give— In spite of all your tenderness, Sometimes I am not glad to live.
There Will Come Soft Rain
There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night,
There is no magic any more, We meet as other people do, You work no miracle for me Nor I for you.
I Am Not Yours
I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon, Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
Now while my lips are living Their words must stay unsaid, And will my soul remember To speak when I am dead?
Life has loveliness to sell, All beautiful and splendid things, Blue waves whitened on a cliff, Soaring fire that sways and sings,
Oh I have sown my love so wide That he will find it everywhere; It will awake him in the night, It will enfold him in the air.
A Winter Night
My window-pane is starred with frost, The world is bitter cold to-night, The moon is cruel, and the wind Is like a two-edged sword to smite.
Child, child, love while you can The voice and the eyes and the soul of a man, Never fear though it break your heart - Out of the wound new joy will start;
A Ballad Of The Two Knights
Two knights rode forth at early dawn A-seeking maids to wed, Said one, "My lady must be fair, With gold hair on her head."
The kings they came from out the south, All dressed in ermine fine; They bore Him gold and chrysoprase, And gifts of precious wine.
Oh, because you never tried To bow my will or break my pride, And nothing of the cave-man made You want to keep me half afraid,
I hoped that he would love me, And he has kissed my mouth, But I am like a stricken bird That cannot reach the south.
This is the quiet hour; the theaters
Have gathered in their crowds, and steadily
The million lights blaze on for few to see,
Robbing the sky of stars that should be hers.
A woman waits with bag and shabby furs,
A somber man drifts by, and only we
Pass up the street unwearied, warm and free,
For over us the olden magic stirs.