Saturday, April 19, 2014

Some poetry by Sara Teasdale

I stumbled across Sara Teasdale's poetry when I was writing Falling for You. I needed a poet that Ella, the elderly woman Rae meets and befriends, admired, and it had to be one that had work in the public domain, so we wouldn't have to deal with permissions and all of that messy stuff, because I wanted to put pieces of a couple of poems in my book. What a gem I discovered.

Sara Teasdale's poetry is so lovely. Although many of her poems can be found on the internet, I ended up buying myself a book of her poetry, FLAME AND SHADOW, published in 1928. It is in really good condition, considering it's over eighty years old, and I now consider it one of my greatest treasures. I simply adore this book.

I think everyone should have at least one poetry book they love on their shelves. There is something so comforting, to me at least, about reading poetry. This morning, I've been feeling anxious about some things. But I went to my shelf, picked up this book, and started reading. And her words just washed it all away. She writes of pain, of death, of joy, of love. It's all there, and suddenly, I have a friend who understands whatever I'm feeling at the moment. What a gift.


In the silver light after a storm,
Under dripping boughs of bright new green,
I take the low path to hear the meadowlarks
Alone and high-hearted as if I were queen.

What have I to fear in life or death
Who have known three things: the kiss in the night,
The white flying joy when a song is born,
And meadowlarks whistling in silver light.


Supper comes at five o'clock,
At six, the evening star,
My lover comes at eight o'clock --
But eight o'clock is far.

How could I bear my pain all day
Unless I watched to see
The clock-hands laboring to bring
Eight o'clock to me.


Day, you have bruised and beaten me,
As rain beats down and the bright, proud sea,
Beaten my body, bruised my soul,
Left me nothing lovely or whole --
Yet I have wrested a gift from you,
Day that dies in dusky blue:

For suddenly over the factories
I saw a moon in the cloudy seas --
A wisp of beauty all alone
In a world as hard and gray as stone --
Oh who could be bitter and want to die
When a maiden moon wakes up in the sky?


Into my heart's treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin, --
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
of a lovely thing.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, love Meadowlarks! (They're all beautiful, though.) I agree that poetry has a special edge to it. It tends to inspire me in a different way than other writing. Thanks so much for sharing this!