Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sara Teasdale cannot escape death on her birthday

(Source: The Writer’s Almanac)  It's the birthday of poet Sara Teasdale (books by this author), born in St. Louis (1884). She grew up in a wealthy family. Her parents paid for the publication of her first book, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems (1907). She received enough positive feedback to continue writing, and she eventually became a well-loved poet. Her collection Rivers to the Sea (1915) was a best-seller, and Love Songs (1917) won several major awards, including the award that would become known as the Pulitzer Prize.
Despite her success, Teasdale remained insecure and convinced that she was frail. Her marriage to a wealthy St. Louis businessman fell apart. In 1931, an old suitor, the poet Vachel Lindsay, killed himself. Teasdale was devastated. In 1933, she committed suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills; later that year her collection Strange Victory was published.

Since There Is No Escape

Since there is no escape, since at the end
My body will be utterly destroyed,
This hand I love as I have loved a friend,
This body I tended, wept with and enjoyed;
Since there is no escape even for me
Who love life with a love too sharp to bear:
The scent of orchards in the rain, the sea
And hours alone too still and sure for prayer—
Since darkness waits for me, then all the more
Let me go down as waves sweep to the shore
In pride, and let me sing with my last breath;
In these few hours of light I lift my head;
Life is my lover—I shall leave the dead
If there is any way to baffle death.


  1. pretty self-involved, there... i didn't know Vachel Lindsey offed himself... he was an original, that's for sure...

    1. I’ve never understood suicide .... except as escape from physical pain .... hmmmm.......