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Red Maples

Sara Teasdale 1884 (St. Louis) – 1933 (New York City)



In the last year I have learned
How few men are worth my trust;
I have seen the friend I loved
Struck by death into the dust,
And fears I never knew before
Have knocked and knocked upon my door --
"I shall hope little and ask for less,"
I said, "There is no happiness."

I have grown wise at last -- but how
Can I hide the gleam on the willow-bough,
Or keep the fragrance out of the rain
Now that April is here again?
When maples stand in a haze of fire
What can I say to the old desire,
What shall I do with the joy in me
That is born out of agony?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Sara Teasdale

Sara Trevor Teasdale was an American lyrical poet. She was born on august 8, 1884, in St. Louis, Missouri, and after her marriage in 1914 she went by the name Sara Teasdale Filsinger. 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. In the years 1911 to 1914, Teasdale was courted by several 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 an admirer 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. 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. Her friend Vachel Lindsay had committed suicide two years earlier. She is interred in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. more…

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