Sara Teasdale

Teasdale in 1919

Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933), was an American lyrical poet. She was born Sara Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri, and after her marriage in 1914 she went by the name Sara Teasdale Filsinger.[1]



Sara Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884. She had poor health for most of her life, and it was only at age 14 that she was well enough to begin school. In 1898 she began attending Mary Institute, but switched rapidly to Hosmer Hall in 1899, where she finished in 1903.

Teasdale's first poem was published in Reedy's Mirror, a local newspaper, in 1907. Her first collection of poems, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems, was published that same year.

Teasdale's second collection of poems, Helen of Troy and Other Poems, was published in 1911. It was well received by critics, who praised its lyrical mastery and romantic subject matter.[2]

In the years 1911 to 1914, Teasdale courted a few men, including poet Vachel Lindsay, who was absolutely in love with her but did not feel that he could provide enough money or stability to keep her satisfied. She chose instead to marry Ernst Filsinger, who had been a fan of her poetry for a number of years, on December 19, 1914.

Teasdale's third poetry collection, Rivers to the Sea, was published in 1915 and was a best seller, being reprinted several times. A year later, in 1916 she moved to New York City with Filsinger, where they resided in an Upper West Side apartment on Central Park West.

In 1918, her poetry collection Love Songs (released 1917) won three awards: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America.

Filsinger was away a lot on business which caused a lot of loneliness for Teasdale.[3] In 1929, she moved interstate for three months, thereby satisfying the criteria to gain a divorce. She did not wish to inform Filsinger, and only did so at the insistence of her lawyers as the divorce was going through—Filsinger was shocked and surprised.

Post-divorce, Teasdale remained in New York City, living only two blocks away from her old home on Central Park West. She rekindled her friendship with Vachel Lindsay, who was by this time married with children.

In 1933, she committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills.[4] Her friend Vachel Lindsay had committed suicide two years earlier. She is interred in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.

Teasdale's suicide and "I Shall Not Care"

A common urban legend surrounds Teasdale's suicide. The legend claims that her poem "I Shall Not Care" (which features themes of abandonment, bitterness, and contemplation of death) was penned as a suicide note to a former lover. However, the poem was actually first published in her 1915 collection Rivers to the Sea, a full 18 years before her suicide: [5]

"I Shall Not Care"

WHEN I am dead and over me bright April

Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Tho' you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful

When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.

Legacy and influence

The poem "There Will Come Soft Rains" from her 1920 collection Flame and Shadow inspired and featured in a famous short story of the same name by Ray Bradbury.

In 1994, she was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

In 2010, Teasdale's works were for the first time published in Italy, translated by Silvio Raffo.

In 1967 Tom Rapp and the group Pearls Before Swine recorded a musical rendition of "I Shall Not Care" on their first album One Nation Underground.

External links


  1. ^ Collection of Teasdale's letters that are contained in The Berg Collection at the New York Public Library
  2. ^ "Biography of Sara Teasdale - Lulu Poetry". 
  3. ^ Letters from Sara Teasdale to Mr Braithwaite express this, which can be accessed at the Berg Collection at the NYPL
  4. ^ "Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933)". Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Teasdale, Sara (1915-2007). Rivers to the Sea. Montana: Kessinger Pub. Ltd.. ISBN 978-1417917457. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sara Teasdale — Sara Teasdale, (1884 1933), poétesse américaine née à Saint Louis dans l État du Missouri aux États Unis. Sara Teasdale est née le 8 août 1884. Sa mère était Mary Elizabeth Willard et son père John Warren Teasdale. Elle était la cadète d une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sara Teasdale — (* 8. August 1884 in St. Louis; † 29. Januar 1933 in New York City) war eine US amerikanische Dichterin. Ihre Gedichte, die sich durch Emotionalität und romantische Ader auszeichneten, behandelten Liebe, Natur und Tod. 1918 erhielt sie den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sara Teasdale — noun United States poet (1884 1933) • Syn: ↑Teasdale • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet …   Useful english dictionary

  • Teasdale — is a surname, and may refer to:*George Teasdale (1831–1907), English Mormon apostle and missionary *Graham Teasdale (b. 1955), Australian rules football player *Harvey Teasdale (1817–1904), English circus clown *John D. Teasdale (dates unknown),… …   Wikipedia

  • Teasdale — ist der Name folgender Personen: Joseph Teasdale (* 1936), Gouverneur von Missouri Sara Teasdale (1884–1933), US amerikanische Dichterin Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort b …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sara (Vorname) — Dieser Artikel behandelt den Namen Sara oder Sarah. Für weitere Bedeutungen siehe Sara. Sara oder Sarah (seltener Sahra) ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Verbreitung 3 Namenstag 4 Varianten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Teasdale — noun United States poet (1884 1933) • Syn: ↑Sara Teasdale • Instance Hypernyms: ↑poet …   Useful english dictionary

  • Teasdale — [tēz′dāl΄] Sara 1884 1933; U.S. poet …   English World dictionary

  • Teasdale, Sara — orig. Sara Trevor Teasdale born Aug. 8, 1884, St. Louis, Mo., U.S. died Jan. 29, 1933, New York, N.Y. U.S. poet. While living in St. Louis she made frequent trips to Chicago, where she eventually joined Harriet Monroe s Poetry magazine circle.… …   Universalium

  • Sara — /sahr euh/, n., pl. Saras, (esp. collectively) Sara. a member of a people of the Central African Republic. /sair euh/, n. 1. Douay Bible. Sarah. 2. a female given name, form of Sarah. * * * (as used in expressions) Baker Sara Josephine Teasdale… …   Universalium

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