Monday, April 23, 2018

T is for Sara Teasdale: Timeless Universality

It's April! Time for the AtoZ Blogging Challenge!

For those who haven't played along before, the AtoZ Blogging Challenge asks bloggers to post every day during April (excepting Sundays), which works out to 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. In my opinion, it's the most fun if you choose a theme.

This will be my 5th year participating.
My theme this year is Poets I Love all about some of the poets whose work has touched me over the years.

For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers stretching their limits this month to share their passions with you, too. With over 600 participants, there is bound to be something you'd love to read.

Sara Teasdale was my grandmother's favorite poet. When I first told her that I wanted to write poems (when I was six or seven years old), that's who she said I should read. She showed me some of her verses on greeting cards, including a mushy one from Grandpa.

I wasn't much of a judge when I was seven, but I always smile when I come across one of Teasdale's poems, thinking of Grandma.

Teasdale's poetry, like that of Edna St. Vincent Millay, is underestimated sometimes. Simplicity can be mistaken for a lack of sophistication. A lot of Teasdale's work is more contemplative than dramatic, but I still get that little gasp of recognition reading her lines, and that's half of what I read poetry for.

Teasdale's poems have a timeless universality. They're not confessional or philosophical, neither focused on the narrow individual experience nor taking a god's eye view overlooking the cosmos. I don't, at the end of the poem, know why the poet is drawn to broken things at the moment, but I feel with her nonetheless, taking the same quiet comfort alongside her. She finds the emotional center of a moment and gives us room to find ourselves in it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment