a restless reader’s miscellaneous musings on literature, history and more
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.