Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Birthday in August ~ Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933)
Public Domain

Sara Teasdale was born on 8 August 1884 and died after over-dosing on barbiturates in 1933. Teasdale's work has always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. Read more at, which also provides a selection of her poetry.

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Her poetry centred on a woman's changing perspectives on beauty love and death and served to chart the development of her own existence, from living a sheltered life in St Louis to attaining success as a well-known poet living in New York City, who had to face a struggle with depression and disillusionment.

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Critics found much of Teasdale's poetry to be unsophisticated but full of musical language and evocative emotion.A New York Times Book Review contributor, writing about the 1917 edition of Love Songs, asserted that "Miss Teasdale is first, last, and always a singer." After her death, Louis Untermeyer (reviewing her collection in Saturday Review of Literature) insisted that Strange Victory "must be ranked among her significant works," that its "beauty is in the restraint" of its "ever-present though never elaborated theme."  Read more at The Poetry Foundation.

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I leave you with the words of this remarkable woman, as inspiration for poetry of your own this Sunday. Please link new poetry, written specifically for this prompt, and a link back to Real Toads. For those who would like to share related work or a piece from their archives, our Open Link is a forum available from 12.00AM CST every Monday.


Scarlet said...

Thank you for introducing us to her work Kerry ~ Lovely inspiration ~

Wishing you all happy weekend ~

Kay L. Davies said...

Of the three poems Carew read, the second one, though short, touched me most.

Hannah said...

Thank you, Kerry! This was great fun. :)

Unknown said...

I hope it's ok, I used a different one of Teasdale's poems, and even more so hope it's ok that I shadowed her as closely as I did, all due respect meant.

Ella said...

I love the tenderness and honesty in her words~ Thank you Kerry! She does have a remarkable voice~
Her last poem reminds me of Mary Oliver~

hedgewitch said...

I had never read any of this poet's works before. Thanks for the introduction,Kerry, and if the muse cooperates, we'll see if I can come up with something.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I thought that Teasdale was well-known as an American poet, but from my own experience of reading, I know she is not often anthologized. Perhaps her poetry has been under-rated in recent times - strange since she was the first woman to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Marian said...

I have something percolating, but am on vacation & focus is a challenge. Thanks for this lovely prompt, Kerry.

Ella said...

For some reason she seems familiar I recognized her name, but not her poems?!

Thank you Kerry! I have struggled writing poetry lately. I have written to several prompts, but do not like them-so I didn't share.
I will play catch up today-now that our weather is behaving. We have had three evenings of severe thundershowers~ Hope everyone is doing well!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Kerry. I have not read enough Teasdale in my time, and there are so many qualities in her writing I admire. Gave it my best shot.

Don't you think Allison Janney could play her? A dead ringer, you ask me. Love to all my dear Toads, Amy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showcasing Sara Teasdale's work. 'There will come soft rains' is a particular favourite of mine as it was in a GCSE anthology some years ago and I explored it with my students.
It's been years since I have written poems. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

Susan said...

I love love love that you give us SARA whom I met in a scifi story by ... RAY? I don't remember who wrote it. I wrote a poem and posted it at open Monday.