Teasdale, Sara

United States, (1884-1933)

The Star

  1. A WHITE star born in the evening glow
  2. Looked to the round green world below,
  3. And saw a pool in a wooded place
  4. That held like a jewel her mirrored face.
  5. She said to the pool: “Oh, wondrous deep,
  6. I love you, I give you my light to keep.
  7. Oh, more profound than the moving sea
  8. That never has shown myself to me!
  9. Oh, fathomless as the sky is far,
  10. Hold forever your tremulous star!”
  11. But out of the woods as night grew cool
  12. A brown pig came to the little pool;
  13. It grunted and splashed and waded in
  14. And the deepest place but reached its chin.
  15. The water gurgled with tender glee
  16. And the mud churned up in it turbidly.
  17. The star grew pale and hid her face
  18. In a bit of floating cloud like lace.

Rivers to the Sea. New York: MacMillan, 1915.

About the Poet

Sara Trevor Teasdale [Mrs. Ernst B. Filsinger] (1884-1933), US poet. Teasdale was raised in a family of staunch Baptists with a Puritan heritage in St Louis. She graduated from Hosmer Hall in 1903 and after graduation, Teasdale traveled frequently to Chicago, where she became part of the circle surrounding Poetry magazine and Harriet Monroe.

In 1918 Teasdale was awarded the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America and the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (forerunner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) for Love Songs. Teasdale’s work had always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. She wrote several volumes of delicate and highly personal verse.

After rejecting the poet Vachel Lindsay as a suitor, she married St. Louis businessman, Ernst Filsinger, in 1914. She divorced in 1929 and lived the rest of her life as a semi-invalid. Weakened after a difficult bout with pneumonia she became almost reclusive. Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 with an overdose of barbiturates. [DES-6/03]

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