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June Night

Oh Earth, you are too dear to-night,

How can I sleep while all around
Floats rainy fragrance and the far
Deep voice of the ocean that talks to the ground?

Oh Earth, you gave me all I have,

I love you, I love you, -- oh what have I
That I can give you in return --
Except my body after I die?

Sara Teasdale

Marya Zaturenska in The Strange Victory of Sara Teasdale tells in a well written online bio:
She never found her "heart's home," to quote a phrase from one of her favorite poems by her friend John Hall Wheelock. The singular beauty she sought could not be found in this world. As has been noticed, when she married, her marriage was not to the too ardent Lindsay, who had courted her with fantastic letters, with beautiful exuberance, but to a prosperous businessman, Ernst Filsinger ..... Those who met him (among her literary friends) described him as foreign-looking, melancholy, vaguely literary, widely read, looking "like a diplomat on a secret mission." Louis Untermeyer described him more unkindly as looking "like the head usher of a funeral parlor." The fact was that he was probably not at ease in her New York literary circles. He had cause for melancholy. Sara Teasdale was extraordinarily virginal, one might say spinsterish. She found the realities of marriage difficult; she was certainly not a domestic type. He might as well have married the Fata Morgana, Undine, or La Belle Dame Sans Merci. To him Sara Teasdale seemed the Muse of Poetry; she was also a well-bred woman of his own kind, a Sappho perhaps, but a Sappho in modest draperies. The marriage was not a success and they were divorced. She might have listened to Lindsay, who had once exhorted her, "Let us think upon the stars and save our hearts from every desire but the desire of song."

Divorced in 1929 she committed suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills in 1933. June Night is one of her songs from her 1920 volume Flame and Shadow By the Sea. It's evidence of the deep and despairing growth in her poems from ideals that loves essential nature of reality lies in consciousness to one of an increasing concern with death.


Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

The Strange Victory of Sara Teasdale:
members.aol.com/denis555/poetry/marya-z.htm -

CST Approved

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