ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Identity & Sara Teasdale's I Am Not Yours

Updated on January 10, 2010

What is your favorite poem by Sara Teasdale?

See results

How Do You Identify?

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.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

-Sara Teasdale-

When reading the poem I Am Not Yours by the American poet, Sara Teasdale, you are immediately made aware of a conflict/a struggle. The narrator wants something deeply, but she is afraid of having it. She is not alone in this as many of us battle with the same fear.

In the first stanza, the narrator states, “I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be.” At first, we think it’s because she is in love with someone she can’t have. They are taken by someone else and the narrator will never get to experience what it’s like to be in a relationship with them. It is quite tragic.

However, in the second stanza, we learn that this person loves the narrator. It is the narrator not the other person that is keeping the narrator from experiencing what she/he wants to experience. What is keeping the narrator from giving in to her/his desires?

The final stanza is a prayer that the narrator will be able to allow themselves to fall hopelessly in love, “Oh plunge me deep in love”. They wish to no longer navigate through life doing the sensible thing/ using only their mind (“put out My senses, leave me deaf and blind,”). Instead, they want to concentrate on what their heart wants. They are ready for love, but are still waiting for the thumbs up.

When one enters a relationship, they feel as if they need to make a decision about identity. Now that they are dating so and so are they only to be thought of/ spoken of in connection to their partner or can they still be the person they were prior to commitment? Yes, ideally, no one is supposed to lose their self-identity in a relationship. However, often we are so centered on making the relationship work that we lose sight of who we once were. You spend so much time with them that invitations that once were only extended to you are now extended to “the happy couple.” Everyday nonsense now involves not one person, but two. Even if you and your partner are not joined at hip, this question of identity still comes up. By falling deeply in love with our special someone are we also falling away from everything we’ve accomplished and identified ourselves as until now?

Though I’m not an expert when it comes to history, I’m pretty sure that when Sara Teasdale wrote this poem, women were still being treated as objects (They still are to some extent I suppose.), but were also beginning to have lives of their own. By allowing herself to fall for another human being, she was compromising her freedom. Were they to wed, Sara Teasdale would no longer be known as Sara Teasdale, but as Mrs. Man I Married. How could Sara reconcile her new identity with her old one? For women of this time period, falling in love at the expense of losing all they had accomplished was too much of a sacrifice. For some women, that is still a sacrifice today.

Our hearts don’t understand such a complex concept of identity. When we fall in love, they don’t allow us to forget how the sight of that certain someone makes us feel. As hard it is, we have to be cautious when falling so that we don’t lose the unique qualities that make us who we are. If we’re with the right person, this need to retain a personal identity shouldn’t be an issue. Yet, if it is, you must make the decision to fight for yourself and find the one who values your independence as much as you do. In a sense, that is what separates true love from infatuation.


To read more poetry analysis by this writer, please click on the link below.
http://www.triond.com/users/lowellwriter

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)