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The Romance of Sara Teasdale (Filsinger)

Updated on February 29, 2012

Sara Teasdale-Poet and Lonely Woman

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Buried Love-The Romance of Sara Teasdale

 

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I Am Not Yours performed by the Appalachian State University Singers

At Night by Sara Teasdale

There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale

When I am dead and over me bright April Shakes out her rain-drenched hair, Though you should lean above me broken-hearted, I shall not care. ...

 

“I have come to bury love

Beneath a tree,

In the forest tall and black

Where none can see….”

 

But Sara Teasdale never could bury love and sought it all her life. Finally she could no longer live without the love she craved and took her own life on January 29, 1933.

There is little new to be said of Sara Teasdale and her legacy as a poet. Many excellent websites exist that tell the life of Ms. Teasdale so I will not do that here. This article is to honor her romantic spirit and her love of love. Sara Teasdale was born into a privileged life that allowed little leniency for the creative mind of the young girl. Her dreams and ambitions of love were hampered by ill health and the strictures of society. Sara turned her romantic leanings into lyrical and flowing poetry and the written word became her vessel to speak of love and longing.

In 1913-1914, Sara was courted by the well known poet Vachel Lindsay. He wrote her passionate letters filled with poetic professions of love and asked her to marry him. Despite her love for him, Sara gave into the prodding of her family and married elsewhere. She was a product of her Victorian upbringing and tried to subdue her passionate nature and channel it into her poetry. Ernst Filsinger, a businessman, became her husband in 1914 and Sara moved to New York City with him to live as a married woman. She remained there until she died in 1933 at the age of forty nine.

Sara wrote the poignant words, "It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise." If she had wed with her heart instead of her mind, she would not have chosen Filsinger. A poet and a businessman do not usually create a cohesive unit. It has been said that Sara and Vachel remained platonic friends and were inspiration for one another’s poetry. But I believe her love for him was a passion that loved forever. When he died from suicide in 1931, she wrote:

In memory of Vachel Lindsay

“Deep in the ages”, you said, “deep in the ages,”

And, “To live in mankind is far more than to live in a

name.”

You are deep in the ages, now, deep in the ages,

You whom the world could not break, nor the years tame.

Fly out, fly on, eagle that is not forgotten,

Fly straight to the innermost light, you who loved sun in

your eyes,

Free of the fret, free of the weight of living,

Bravest among the brave, gayest among the wise.

 

She was never happy with Ernst Filsinger and eventually divorced him. He did not want a divorce and tried to persuade Sara to remain his wife. But in 1929, the marriage was terminated and Sara moved on.

She was still in poor health and it continued to decline. A terrible bout of pneumonia left her weak and discouraged, feeling alone and she became even more reclusive. Sara’s poetry became sadder and more lonely and haunting. She wrote, “…Why am I crying after love?” and one of her last poems is considered to be her epitaph:

“Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,
In the dawn clouds flying,
How good to go, light into light, and still
Giving light, dying.

Sara’s last book Strange Victory is indicative of her desire to love rather than live. On January 29, 1933 she took an overdose of sleeping pills and fell asleep in a warm bath, never to wake up in this world again.

Sara’s words came true for her as she decided a life without love was not worth living:

“So soon my body will have gone
Beyond the sound and sight of men,
And tho' it wakes and suffers now,
Its sleep will be unbroken then;
But oh, my frail immortal soul
That will not sleep forevermore,
A leaf borne onward by the blast,
A wave that never finds the shore”

Those of us who love the romantic poetry of Sara Teasdale wish she had been able to follow her own words,

“For I shall learn from flower and leaf,

That color every drop they hold,

To change the lifeless wine of grief

To living gold."

 

Sara Trevor Teasdale, I hope you found the love you sought here on earth in the arms of Jesus and know He will never leave you.

 

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

 

We indeed know that you are gone sweet, sad Sara and miss you and your words of love expressed so gently and beautifully.

 

 

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All photographs and text on this site are protected under United States and international copyright laws (© Brenda Barnes) with all rights reserved.

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  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    4 months ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    I am so pleased you discovered the beauty of her poetry. Sara was a wandering soul. I have seen her books on Ebay and Thrift Books for great prices. Enjoy!

  • Glenis Rix profile image

    GlenR 

    4 months ago from UK

    What a sad story.. As you say, she ought to have married for love. I only recently discovered the work of Sara Teasdale, whilst searching for a poem about Paris . I love the selection that you have quoted above and will now attempt to find a collection of her work to enjoy over the Easter break.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    16 months ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hello Ziyuzile. In this case, it does mean to become thinner. Thanks!

  • profile image

    Ziyuzile 

    16 months ago

    “Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,

    I am a learner of English. I wonder if someone could tell me this "worn thin" means "become thinner" or "wear little or thin clothes." Many thanks in advance!

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    I am so happy you liked it feenix. I also am drawn to the forlorn artist and it is SO me. Maybe that is why we found each other here on the Hub.

  • feenix profile image

    feenix 

    7 years ago

    Hyphenbird, this account of Sara Teasdale is very appealing to me. And one of the primary reasons why is I have always been attracted to the "long-suffering-artist" types. I guess I feel that way because that is what I actually am (and if that is not what I am, it certainly is a romantic way of looking at myself).

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    It was me Teylina. I am going through her books hoping to find that. I have all but one, Sonnets I searched the internet to no avail. It nust have been a regular person like one of us who wrote that lovely piece.

    Thanks for letting me know that I did her justice. Ms. Teasdale is one of my favorites.

  • Teylina profile image

    Teylina 

    7 years ago

    Hers was a romance all its own. Enjoyed this hub. Was it you that commented it might have been ST who wrote a couple of romantic lines I ran across (no name) and pub'd here, wondering if someone could identify? Not her, but indicative of her writing. Very good hub. Thank you. Your muse is working, and even made sure you did her justice!

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thank you always. I really enjoyed writing this and hoped it was good. I appreciate your letting me know it worked. I have always believed Vachel's suicide led to Sara's own. Losing him caused her depression to worsen and I think she loved him all her life and thought she couldn't live without him. They remained close even after marrying other people. It was a true loss to the world when she died.

    Thank you for your visit and sweet comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    7 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Oh how i loved this! Her poetry..So sad. What a shame, she needed love so badly. Isn't it strange that she and Vachel both committed suicide? I hope you write more stories such as this. You are very gifted in story telling. Thank you.

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Perhaps Bumpsysmum. I hope so. As I age, I feel an incredible itch to understand everything. It is great to know we will have forever and eternity on the other side.

  • Bumpsysmum profile image

    Bumpsysmum 

    7 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Yes curiosity, but I also think that as we get older we learn to value different things, less material more ethereal? :-)

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hi Bumpsysmum. Glad to see you out and about this lovely Easter Sunday. Yes, Sara Teasdale was a rare talent. You can read much of her work online. I highly recommend her. I am so happy you liked the Hub. I also love to learn about people as I age. The curiosity thing I suppose.

  • Bumpsysmum profile image

    Bumpsysmum 

    7 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    How sad and what a loss to poetry - great hub Hyphenbird my dear friend, interesting topic, loved it. I enjoy finding out about people more as I get older, great stuff :-)

  • Hyphenbird profile imageAUTHOR

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hi Pooh. Ms. Teasdale is one of my all time favorite poets. I was reading one of her books and thought I would let the world know of her talent. I hope I did her honor.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 

    7 years ago from On the edge

    A tragic tale of a more tragic life, beautifully and lovingly told.

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