Sara Teasdale - the winner of one of the earliest Pulitzer Prizes for poetry, winner of the Poetry Society of America prize, and other honors - believed passionately in the power and beauty of love. Yet in her own life, love was not enough; she died by her own hand after a long illness. The man she may have loved more than any other, the poet Vachel Lindsay, had killed himself two years earlier.
Teasdale's poetry ranges from utter joy to deep loneliness. She expresses herself with utter simplicity:
Slowly over the earth The wings of night are falling My heart like the bird in the tree Is calling... calling... calling....
She can be wonderfully playful, telling a thrush to go call her lover:
When he harkens what you say Bid him, lest he miss me Leave his work or leave his play And kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!
Her soul valued beauty and love above all else:
Oh, let me love with all my strength Careless if I am loved again.
Like many of America's women poets, she is rather on the back shelf these days, but she deserves better. Enjoy this reading of her poetry!
The narrator does a wonderful job, with the exception of one poem which should have been re-recorded. Instead, we hear her say "Damn it! Just as I was cooking!" and hear someone else in the studio in the background tell her to keep going. Um...why not simply edit that take out and re-do it! Disappointed with unprofessionalism!