Saturday, October 06, 2007


When I have ceased to break my wings

Against the faultiness of things,

And learned that compromises wait

Behind each hardly opened gate,

When I have looked Life in the eyes,

Grown calm and very coldly wise,

Life will have given me the Truth,

And taken in exchange--my youth.

Sara Teasdale

I went looking for this poem by Sara Teasdale, to try to express a truth about the loss of innocence when we gain - finally - a realistic view of life.

In the process I found all the poems of my youth amongst Teasdale's Love Poems.

The Beloved, the words of which have always spoken to me of the endearing qualities that Husband brought to my life.

It is enough of honor for one lifetime
To have known you better than the rest have known
The shadows and the colors of your voice,
Your will, immutable and still as stone. The shy heart, so lonely and so gay,
The sad laughter and the pride of pride,
The tenderness, the depth of tenderness
Rich as the earth, and wide as heaven is wide.

- Sara Teasdale -

And Barter,

LIFE has loveliness to sell,

All beautiful and splendid things,

Blue waves whitened on a cliff,

Soaring fire that sways and sings,

And children's faces looking up

Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,

Music like a curve of gold,

Scent of pinetrees in the rain,

Eyes that love you, arms that hold,

And for your spirit's still delight,

Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,

Buy it and never count the cost;

For one white singing hour of peace

Count many a year of strife well lost,

And for a breath of ecstasy

Give all you have been, or could be. Sara Teasdale

For a while I was caught between April and October, remembering the romance of the youthful years, - the eternal optimism, - the wonderful careless acceptance of the vitality and brightness of life.

But eventually I turned again to the mellow months, - and the poems that express the mix of somber acceptance of reality, and the splendid colours of the dying season.

A Prayer

UNTIL I lose my soul and lie

Blind to the beauty of the earth,

Deaf though shouting wind goes by,

Dumb in a storm of mirth;

Until my heart is quenched at length

And I have left the land of men,

Oh, let me love with all my strength

Careless if I am loved again. Sara Teasdale

In a Burying Ground

This is the spot where I will lie

When life has had enough of me,

These are the grasses that will blow

Above me like a living sea.

These gay old lilies will not shrink

To draw their life from death of mine,

And I will give my body's fire

To make blue flowers on this vine.

"O Soul," I said, "have you no tears?

Was not the body dear to you?"
I heard my soul say carelessly,

"The myrtle flowers will grow more blue." Sara Teasdale

A quiet October stream, hedged with the beautiful golds, the subtle greens and the Naples yellows of the grasses of Autumn.

No comments: