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Selected Poetry of Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

  1. Barter
  2. Eight O'Clock
  3. Faults
  4. I Shall not Care
  5. Let it be Forgotten
  6. The Look
  7. The Old Maid
  8. Union Square


Notes on Life and Works

Sara Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 8, 1884, and received her education at the Mary Institute. Until her marriage in 1914 to Ernst B. Filsinger, a businessman, she lived either in St. Louis or Chicago; afterwards, she lived mainly in New York. She began publishing verse in Harriet Monroe's journal, Poetry. In her first three books of poetry, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems (1907; about famous women, including the Italian actress Duse), Helen of Troy and Other Poems (1911), and Rivers to the Sea (1915), Teasdale revealed a remarkable ability to write simply and poignantly about common experiences. She quickly obtained popularity with Love Songs (1917), for which she obtained in the next year both the Poetry Society of America Prize and the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for poetry). Two poems in this collection, "Barter" and "The Look," are extraordinary. In bad health after her divorce in 1929, depressed by the death of her old friend Vachel Lindsay, she died on January 29, 1933, from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Biographical information

Given name: Sara
Family name: Teasdale
Birth date: 8 August 1884
Death date: 29 January 1933
Nationality: American
Family relations
          husband: Ernst B. Filsinger (from 1914 to 1929)
Literary period: modern
Cause of death: Suicide
Buried at: Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis (Block 66, Lot 2693)
First RPO edition: 2004