August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933
Sara Trevor Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884 in St. Louis Missouri. She was the youngest child of Mary Elizabeth Willard and John Warren Teasdale. At the time of Sara's birth, Mary was 40, and John was 45. Teasdale had three other siblings. She had two brothers; George, who was the oldest child at 20, and John Warren Jr., was was 14. Teasdale also had a sister, named Mary (she was fondly called "Maime"), and she was 17. Mary loved her sister Sara and took very good care of her. Sara was named after her grandmother. Teasdale's first word was "pretty". According to her mother, Sara's love of pretty things was what inspired her poetry.
Teasdale was always very frail, and caught diseases easily. For most of her life, she had a nurse companion that took care of her. Teasdale grew up in a sheltered atmosphere. She was the youngest child. Because of that, she was spoiled and waited on like a princess. She never had to do normal chores, like make her bed, or do the dishes. She was known to have described herself as "a flower in a toiling world". Because she was so sickly, she was homeschooled until she was nine. She never had communication with her peers. Teasdale grew up around adults. She was forced to amuse heself with stories and things that she made up in her own lonesome world. When Teasdale was ten, she had the first communication with her peers. Her parents sent her to Miss Ellen Dean Lockwood's school for boys and girls. When she was fourteen, she went to Mary Institute. She didn't graduate there, but switched to Hosmer Hall when she was fifteen. There, she began to put the thoughts and dreams that amused her as a girl onto paper. Thus, she wrote her first poem. Teasdale's first published poem was "Reedy's Mirror", and it was published in a local newspaper. Her first collection, "Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems", was published in 1907. In 1911, her second collection, "Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems" was published. She published many other collections including "Rivers to the Sea", "Love Songs", "Flame and Shadow", "Dark of the Moon", "Stars To-night", and finally, "Strange Victory".
Teasdale married her sweetheart Ernst Filsinger in 1914. They had a happy marriage, but it was too good to last. They divorced in 1929, and she lived the rest of her life only for her poetry. Sara was always frail and sickly, but in 1933, Teasdale caught chronic pneumonia and it weakened her not only in body but also in mind and spirit. No longer able to see the beauty in simple things, Teasdale committed suicide at age 48 in New York, NY on January 29, 1933. Her final book of poetry was published that year.
Teasdale's works continue to be admired by poets everywhere. Her works show us what a lovely person she was, and how much she appreciated the beautiful things about life. Her love for beautiful things appeared in her poetry. She was a very talented poet, and we are glad she shared her talent with us.