Saturday Poetry – ‘I Love You’ by Sara Teasdale
This week’s Saturday Poetry brings you the soul-stirring poem titled ‘I Love You’ by Sara Teasdale.
Sara Trevor Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884, in St. Louis, into an old, established, and devout family. She was home-schooled until she was nine and traveled frequently to Chicago, where she became part of the circle surrounding Poetry magazine and Harriet Monroe. Teasdale published Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems (The Poet Lore Company), her first volume of verse, in 1907. Her second collection, Helen of Troy, and Other Poems (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), followed in 1911, and her third, Rivers to the Sea(Macmillan), in 1915.
In 1914, Teasdale married Ernst Filsinger. She had previously rejected a number of other suitors, including Vachel Lindsay. She moved with her new husband to New York City in 1916. In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and the Poetry Society of America’s Prize for Love Songs (Macmillan), which had appeared in 1917. She published three more volumes of poetry during her lifetime: Stars To-night: Verses New and Old for Boys and Girls(Macmillan, 1930); Dark of the Moon (Macmillan, 1926); and Flame and Shadow(Macmillan, 1920).
Teasdale’s work has been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. Her later books trace her growing finesse and poetic subtlety. She divorced in 1929 and lived the rest of her life as a semi-invalid. Weakened after a difficult bout with pneumonia, Teasdale died by suicide on January 29, 1933. Her final collection, Strange Victory (Macmillan) appeared posthumously that same year.
For this edition of Saturday Poetry, we have paired Teasdale’s emotive words with mobile art by the talented @ja_graham with the captivating artwork entitled ‘I love you’ complementing the poem’s essence beautifully, creating a symphony of emotions.
To view the others we have published in this section, go here.
I Love You by Sara Teasdale
When April bends above me
And finds me fast asleep,
Dust need not keep the secret
A live heart died to keep.
When April tells the thrushes,
The meadow-larks will know,
And pipe the three words lightly
To all the winds that blow.
Above his roof the swallows,
In notes like far-blown rain,
Will tell the little sparrow
Beside his window-pane.
O sparrow, little sparrow,
When I am fast asleep,
Then tell my love the secret
That I have died to keep.
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