Bonnie Hamre’s Sara Teasdale Page

If you’re a girl coming out of a relationship gone awry, or just a girl in a blue mood, Bonnie Hamre’s Web tribute to Sara Teasdale might provide solace. A writer herself, Hamre recounts how she was nourished as a moody young woman by the writings of Teasdale, a 20th-century poet born in 1884 who eventually committed suicide in 1933 after being hospitalized for manic-depressive disorder. Teasdale, who won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1918, has a knack for cutting to the heart of the melodramatic in her writings. In “Advice to a Girl” she writes, “No one worth possessing/ Can be quite possessed;/ Lay that on your heart,/ My young angry dear,/ This truth, this hard and precious stone,/ Lay it on your hot cheek,/ Let it hide your tear.” Married once and disenchanted by the experience, she imbued her later poetry with both bitterness and strength. Teasdale biographer William Drake describes her here as paramount among “women emerging from the humility of subservience into the pride of achievement.”