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Sara Teasdale
(1884 - 1933) U.S.A.

Sara Teasdale

Lyric poet

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Sara TeasdaleSara Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and lived both on Lindell Blvd. and on Kingsbury Place. While attending Mary Institute and Hosmer Hall, she began writing poems.

First published in 1907, Teasdale wrote several collections of poetry in the following decade and became known for the intensity of her lyrics, her unaffected quatrains which, almost bare of imagery and sparing in metaphor, attempt the articulation of a mood, rather than quest of universals.

In 1918 Love Songs won the Poetry Society Prize that was essentially the first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Expressing disenchantment with marriage, Teasdale's later poetry resonated with suffering and strength.

Sara TeasdaleAccording to one biographer, Sara spoke for "women emerging from the humility of subservience into the pride of achievement."

Attracted to women, but married to men for much of her adult life, Teasdale suffered from nervous conditions, and was occasionally committed to sanitariums.

Finally, at the age of forty-two, Teasdale met the poet Margaret Conklin and, after divorcing her husband, moved in with the college student.

She had a seven-years long relationship with Margaret, of which she wrote:

"There is a quiet at the heart of love,
And I have pierced the pain and come to peace."

Teasdale remained unstable, however, and committed suicide four years later.

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Her work include:

  • Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems (1907)
  • Helen of Troy and Other Poems (1911)
  • Rivers to the Sea (1915)
  • Love Songs (1917, special Pulitzer award)
  • Flame and Shadow (1920)
  • Dark of the Moon (1926)
  • Strange Victory (1933)
  • Collected Poems (1937)

If you want to read some of Sara Teasdale's quatrains, please go at her page in our book Famous Homoerotic Poems.

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