Sara Teasdale

1884 St. Louis, Missouri — 1933 New York
Sara Teasdale

Sarah Trevor Teasdale syntyi St. Louisissa
Missourissa 8.8.1884 hienon perheen nuorimpana. Silloin jo keski-ikäiset vanhemmat olivat vakavarainen kauppias John Warren Teasdale ja Mary Elizabeth Willard — hartaita baptisteja puritaanisin perintein. Perhe asui Lindell Boulevardilla ja Kingsbury Placessa.

Tyttöä sanottiin Sadieksi perheen keskuudessa. Häntä koulutettiin kotona yhdeksänvuotiaaksi asti, jolloin hän aloitti rouva Lockwoodin koulun.

Hän matkusteli paljon ja teki useita käyntejä Chicagoon, jossa hänestä tuli yksi Poetry-lehteä ja Harriet Monroeta ympäröivästä runoilijoiden piiristä.

Teasdale alkoi runoilla käydessään Mary Institutea ja Hosmer Hallia, josta hän valmistui v. 1903. Vuosien 1904 ja 1907 välillä hän julkaisi ystäviensä kanssa kirjallista kuukausijulkaisua nimeltä The Potter's Wheel, Savenvalajan pyörä. Tämä sai suosiota St. Louisissa.

julkaisi ensimmäisen lyriikkateoksensa Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems, v. 1907. In 1905 she visited Europe and in 1907 she published her first collection of poems. In 1911, the publication of "Helen of Troy" introduced her to Louis Untermeyer, who, with his wife Jean, was to become a lifelong friend. Toinen kokoelma, Helen of Troy, and Other Poems, seurasi v. 1911 ja kolmas, Rivers to the Sea, v. 1915.

Six letters written to Jean Starr Untermeyer, chiefly discussing personal matters, including one from 1914 commenting on Teasdale's difficulty in deciding whether to marry Vachel Lindsay or Ernst Filsinger. A ten-page letter to John Myers O'Hara dated July 1909 praises his recently published book "At Erato's Fane". Other letters concern a request to use one of her poems in a song, and the response to a request that she give a lecture at the University of Chicago.

Punatukkainen, hiljainen Teasdale avioitui liikemies Ernst B. Filsingerin kanssa 19.12.1914. Hän oli aiemmin antanut rukkaset usealle kosijalle; näihin kuului runoilija Vachel Lindsay. Filsinger arvosti taidetta ja kirjoitti itsekin, vaikkakin taloudellisista aiheista.

Sara muutti miehensä kanssa New Yorkiin v. 1916. Vuonna 1918 hän voitti Columbian yliopiston runoseuran palkinnon (josta kehittyi Pulitzerin runopalkinto) sekä Amerikan runoseuran palkinnon kokoelmasta Love Songs [Rakkauslauluja], joka oli ilmestynyt edellisenä vuonna. Sara julkaisi eläessään vielä kolme kokoelmaa.

Teasdale wrote several collections of poetry in the following decade and became known for the intensity of her lyrics. Expressing disenchantment with marriage, Teasdale's later poetry resonated with suffering and strength. According to one biographer, Sara Teasdale spoke for "women emerging from the humility of subservience into the pride of achievement."

Some of her work anticipates modern feminist verse and the intimate, autobiographical
style known as confessional poetry. A large number of Teasdale's poems deal with love and
death. Many of the speakers in her lyrics are women who face the death or desertion of a loved one. They also face the fact of their own mortality with disillusionment, but not as cynics. Teasdale associated moral and spiritual beauty with the harmonies of the natural world.

In addition to writing her own poetry, she edited an anthology of love lyrics by women called The Answering Voice (1917, rev. ed. 1928). She also edited Rainbow Gold (1922), a collection of poetry for young people.

singer, in 1914. She divorced Filsinger in 1929, against his wishes. "Guenevere" was Teasdale's first poem to be printed, appearing in Reedy's Mirror in 1907. Teasdale's first book, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems, was published by Poet Lore in the same year. Among her other books of poetry were numerous volumes published by Macmillan, including Rivers to the Sea (1915), Love Songs (1917), Flame and Shadow (1920), Dark of the Moon (1926), and Strange Victory (1933). In 1918 Teasdale was awarded the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America and the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (forerunner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) for Love Songs. Popular during the early twentieth century, Teasdale's poems appeared in numerous periodicals including Harper's, Scribner's, Century, Forum, Lippincott's, Putnam's, Bookman, and New Republic. On January 29, 1933, having become increasingly depressed and reclusive, Sara Teasdale died of an overdose of sleeping pills. She was buried in St. Louis, Missouri.

Joyce and Aline Kilmer

Teasdale addresses the first four letters in this collection to poet and critic Joyce Kilmer. Born Alfred Joyce Kilmer on December 6, 1886, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he attended Rutgers College (1904-1906) and was graduated from Columbia University with an A. B. in 1908. In June of the same year he married Aline Murray, step-daughter of Henry Mills Alden. Before joining the staff of the New York Times Magazine and Review of Books in 1913, he worked on the staff of the Standard Dictionary (1909-1912) and as editor of the Churchman (1912-1913). Several collections of Joyce Kilmer's poetry were published, most notably Trees and Other Poems (1914). The title poem of this volume was published in the literary journal Poetry and attained world-wide popularity. However, Kilmer is more often remembered as a brave World War I soldier who died on July 30, 1918, during an attack of the hills above the Ourcq in France. He was honored by burial at the spot where he fell and awarded the Croix de Guerre posthumously.

The remaining fifty-three letters were written by Teasdale to Aline Kilmer, also a poet. Born on August 1, 1888 at Norfolk, Virginia, Aline Murray Kilmer, was educated at Rutgers Prep and at the Vail-Deane School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Although she published several poems prior to her marriage, her first collection of poems, Candles That Burn, was not published until 1919. In addition to two more volumes of poetry, she wrote two children's books and Hunting a Hair Shirt (1923), a collection of brief personal essays. Aline Kilmer died on October 1, 1941, in Stillwater, New Jersey.

Sara Teasdale's fifty-six letters written to Joyce and Aline Kilmer include two autograph poems penned by Teasdale and a photograph. Written between 1912 and 1932, most of the letters originated from her homes, first in St. Louis, Missouri, and later in New York City.

Other letters are mailed from vacation sites in Santa Barbara, California; Nahant, Massachusetts; Ogunquit-by-the-Sea, Maine; Paris, France, and London, England.

Teasdale initially addressed her letters to poet Joyce Kilmer, praising his poetry, offering a copy of her book, discussing her recent work. She also mentioned the inclusion of a poem dedicated to the Kilmers' daughter Rose in her recent book. An autograph copy of this poem, "To Rose Kilmer," is enclosed in an undated letter in this collection. In another undated letter (probably written in 1917) Teasdale reflected on her affection for Rose Kilmer and mourned her tragic death. In August 1918 Sara Teasdale wrote Aline Kilmer to offer condolences on the loss of her husband Joyce, who was killed during battle in World War I.

Their friendship blossomed with time and it is obvious from her letters that Teasdale greatly appreciated Aline Kilmer's writing and depended on their friendship. Her letters convey an affection for and trust of Kilmer, as well as a need for her company. They are filled with the moods and details of Teasdale's life. Teasdale wrote of her poetry; her travels, particularly her love for London; her enthusiasm for Aline Kilmer's poetry; current writing projects, such as the children's anthology and a book on Christina Rossetti; her daily routines; her friends Vachel Lindsey and Margaret Conklin; the thrill of meeting Virginia Woolf; and her health. Occasionally Teasdale mentioned her husband Ernst Filsinger.

In 1929 she wrote to apologize to Kilmer for concealing the circumstances of her divorce until it was final. Teasdale's letters poignantly convey her personality and battle with depression. Her letters written during the summer and fall of 1932, just prior to her death in January of 1933, reflect her ill health and despair.

In addition to her poem, "To Rose Kilmer," the collection includes an eight-line untitled poem written by Teasdale. This autograph poem, dated March 23, 1931, begins: "Take heart, for now the battle is half over." A photograph, inscribed by Teasdale to Aline Kilmer, is included in the collection. The black and white image depicts Sara Teasdale as drawn in pencil by Willy Pogany.

The letters of Sara Teasdale to Orrick Johns, a collection of forty-three letters from Teasdale and one letter to Teasdale from Wilfred Funk, are housed in F252 of Manuscript Collection 99. Arranged in chronological order, the autograph letters, cards, and notes range in dates from 1909 to 1914, (with fifteen undated items). In many of her letters Teasdale praised and critiqued the poetry of the letters recipient, Orrick Johns, a friend and fellow poet. He was also editor of the literary magazine, The Mirror, in which a number of her poems appeared. It is obvious from her letters that Teasdale held Johns in high regard for his friendship and his literary work. Teasdale wrote to Johns from various locales, including her home in St. Louis, Missouri, vacation spots such as St. Augustine, Florida, and Amalfi, Italy; as well as from New York City. In her letters Teasdale discussed her motivations for writing, her feelings about the quality of particular poems (one letter includes an eight-line poem, "Dew"), and her work in general. Her letters are filled with her observations of life, revealing her struggle with difficult feelings such as loneliness, a terror of death, and doubts about her poetry. She mentioned her admiration for the poetry of Nora French and Sappho, and expressed her enthusiasm for New York City. Some of Teasdale's thoughts about women are revealed in a New Year's Eve, 1910, letter, in which she stated: "I sometimes think a woman has no right to do anything but lyrics--The rest somehow belongs to men. A woman, being inferior to a man in everything but delicacy and a certain emotional keenness, should follow only those arts where these two qualities count--and perhaps acting and lyrical verse are the only two. But I am mooning on a pet theory of mine."

Delawaren yliopisto säilyttää

Hän oli pettynyt avioelämään ja erosi miehestään v. 1929 joka puolestaan ei olisi sitä halunnut. Loppuelämänsä hän eli puoliksi vammaisena. Vaikean keuhkotulehduskohtauksen heikontama ja masennuksesta kärsivä Teasdale otti henkensä unilääkkeiden avulla 28 tai 29.1.1933. Burial: Bellefontaine Cemetery Saint Louis St. Louis city Missouri, USA Plot: Block 66, Lot 2693. Samana vuonna ilmestyi postuumisti hänen viimeinen kokoelmansa Strange Victory [Outo voitto].

Teasdalen työtä on aina luonnehtinut sen yksinkertaisuus ja selkeys sekä klassisten muotojen käyttö. Aiheita ovat hallinneet runoilijan intohimo ja romanttisuus. Myöhemmät teokset tuovat esiin hänen kasvaneen hienovaraisuutensa ja runollisen herkkyytensä.

Runoilijasta on kirjoitettu ainakin kaksi elämäkertaa:

  • Sara Teasdale, Woman & Poet, kirj. William Drake. Harper & Row, 1979.

Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems (1907) [Sonetteja Duselle ja muita runoja]
Helen of Troy and Other Poems (1911, rev. 1922) [Troijan Helena ja muita runoja]
Rivers to the Sea (1915) [Joet johtavat merelle]
Love Songs (1917) [Rakkauslauluja]
Flame and Shadow (1920, rev. 1924) [Liekki ja varjo]
Dark of the Moon (1926) [Kuunpimennys]
Stars To-night (1930) [Tähdet tänä iltana]
A Country House (1932) [Talo maalla]
Strange Victory (1933) [Outo voitto]
The Collected Poems (1937) [Valikoituja runoja]

The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women ( 1917; New edition with fifty additional poems, 1928)
Rainbow Gold: Poems Old and New Selected for Boys and Girls ( 1922 ). An anthology with a foreword by Teasdale. Illustrations by Dugald Walker.
Stars To-night; Verses New and Old for Boys and Girls ( 1930 ). Reprinted by Macmillan, 1966. Illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop.

Mirror of the Heart: Poems of Sara Teasdale. Edited and introduced by William Drake. Macmillan, 1984. 51 of the 240 poems in this centennial collection were unpublished during Teasdale's lifetime.

> From The Sea (of her poems the one I like the most)

... Oh, my love
To whom I cannot come with any gift
Of body or of soul, I pass and go. ...

The Years

To-night I close my eyes and see
A strange procession passing me -
The years before I saw your face
Go by me with a wistful grace;
They pass, the sensitive, shy years,
As one who strives to dance,
half blind with tears.

The years went by and never knew
That each one brought me nearer you;
Their path was narrow and apart
And yet it led me to your heart -
Oh, sensitive, shy years, oh, lonely years,
That strove to sing with voices

drowned in tears.


I am not sorry for my soul
That it must go unsatisfied,

For it can live a thousand times,
Eternity is deep and wide.

I am not sorry for my soul,

But oh, my body that must go

Back to a little drift of dust
Without the joy it longed to know.

Spring Torrents

Will it always be like this until I am dead,
Every spring must I bear it all again

With the first red haze of the budding maple boughs,
And the first sweet-smelling rain?

Oh I am like a rock in the rising river

Where the flooded water breaks with a low call -

Like the rock that knows the cry of the waters
And cannot answer at all.

"It Is Not a Word"

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;

Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep

Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

"I Thought of You"

I thought of you and how you love this beauty,
And walking up the long beach all alone

I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder
As you and I once heard their monotone.

Around me were the echoing dunes, beyond me

The cold and sparkling silver of the sea -

We two will pass through death and ages lengthen
Before you hear that sound again with me.

The Sanctuary

If I could keep my innermost Me
Fearless, aloof and free
Of the least breath of love or hate,
And not disconsolate
At the sick load of sorrow laid on men;
If I could keep a sanctuary there
Free even of prayer,
If I could do this, then,
With quiet candor as I grew more wise
I could look even at God
with grave forgiving eyes.

On The Dunes

If there is any life when death is over,
These tawny beaches will know much of me,

I shall come back, as constant and as changeful
As the unchanging, many-colored sea.

If life was small, if it has made me scornful,

Forgive me; I shall straighten like a flame

In the great calm of death, and if you want me
Stand on the sea-ward dunes and call my name.

Etusivu | Kirjallisuus | Sähköposti
1998-07-13 — 2003-10-20