(Poem #113) Morning
I went out on an April morning All alone, for my heart was high, I was a child of the shining meadow, I was a sister of the sky. There in the windy flood of morning Longing lifted its weight from me, Lost as a sob in the midst of cheering, Swept as a sea-bird out to sea.
Teasdale is perhaps best known for her love poetry, but what first attracted me to her were her beautiful, lyrical nature poems like the one above (which remains my favourite). Her nature poetry is reminiscent of Browning's, with it's combination of apparent simplicity and unexpectedly powerful images, and at it's best comaprable to it. Apart from the imagery, I love the rhythms of this poem, and the way they reinforce its soaring, expansive feel. m. Biography: (1884-1933), poet Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 8, 1884, Sara Trevor Teasdale was educated privately and made frequent trips to Chicago, where she eventually became part of Harriet Monroe's Poetry magazine circle. Her first published poem appeared in the St. Louis weekly Reedy's Mirror in May 1907, and later that year she published her first volume of verse, Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems. A second volume, Helen of Troy, and Other Poems, followed in 1911. She married in 1914 (having rejected another suitor, the poet Vachel Lindsay), and in 1915 her third collection of poems, Rivers to the Sea, was published. She moved with her husband to New York City in 1916. In 1918 she won the Columbia University Poetry Society prize (forerunner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry) and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America for Love Songs (1917). During this time she also edited two anthologies, The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women (1917), and Rainbow Gold for children (1922). -- EB Assesment: Teasdale's poems are consistently classical in style. She wrote technically excellent, pure, openhearted lyrics usually in such conventional verse forms as quatrains or sonnets. Her growth as a poet is nonetheless evident in Flame and Shadow (1920), Dark of the Moon (1926), and Stars To-night (1930). The poems in these collections evince an increasing subtlety and economy of expression. Teasdale's marriage ended in divorce in 1929, and she lived thereafter the life of a semi-invalid. In frail health after a recent bout of pneumonia, she took an overdose of barbiturates and died on the night of January 29, 1933, in New York City. Her last and perhaps finest collection of verse, Strange Victory, was published later that year. Her Collected Poems appeared in 1937. -- EB