Public Domain image of Sara Teasdale. Image itself care of Wikimedia Commons.
This week, the spotlight falls on one Sara Teasdale, a lyrical poet of the early 20th century.
Sara Teasdale is a fine example of a tribulation many poets, writers, and other creative sorts have faced throughout history: depression. Many that pursue the arts seem to fall into it, as they fall into all emotions–heavily, for it seems often enough, this is the trade-off they must face for being able to tap those emotions and draw their power into their words, their art.
As such, Teasdale was a lonely woman. She found herself gripped by that, and by the darkness of her depression–it ate at her, and shone through in her works as often as the topic of love and the heart. There was such an undercurrent of longing…it should come as no surprise things ended for her the way they did.
Though a master of language, her words apparently were not enough to reach the world, and Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 by overdose on sleeping pills, just two years after the suicide of another famous poet–and friend of hers–that shall form next week’s spotlight. She is immortalized today in St. Louis’s Walk of Fame.
But today’s poem of hers showcases the heart, the love, and yes, that longing…the quality in her works that makes her so very human.
I Am Not Yours
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.