Sara Teasdale Biographical Info

Birth name: Sarah Trevor Teasdale Sara Teasdale
Married name: Sara Teasdale Filsinger
Childhood nickname: Sadie
Born: 8/8/1884, St. Louis, MO
Nationality: American
Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Poet
Died: 1/29/1933, New York, NY, USA
Cause of death: Suicide, drug overdose
Buried: Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

Father: John Warren Teasdale (1838-1921)
Mother: Mary Elizabeth Willard Teasdale (1843-1924)
Brother: George Willard Teasdale (1864-1924)
Sister: Mary “Mamie” Teasdale Wheless (1867-1956)
Brother: John Warren Teasdale (1870-1917)
Brother-in-Law: Joseph Wheless (1868-1950)

Romantic Interests:
John Hall Wheelock, poet (1886-1978)
Vachel Lindsay, poet (1879-1931)
Husband: Ernst B. Filsinger, businessman (1880-1937)
(businessman, m. 1914, div. 1929)

Poetry books:
Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems (1907)
Helen of Troy, and Other Poems (1911)
Rivers to the Sea (1915)
Love Songs (1917 – Pulitzer Prize winner)
Flame and Shadow (1920)
Dark of the Moon (1926)
Stars To-night (1930)
Strange Victory (1933)
Collected Poems (1937)

Sara Teasdale: A Biography by Margaret Haley Carpenter (2011)

Sara Teasdale, woman & poet by William Drake (1979)

Excerpt from Drake’s biography: “Her poetry came from her emotions. A characteristic of the principal poets of the nineteenth century was their reclusiveness. Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti and others withdrew from the world to create their poetry in seclusion. Sara did this as well, retreating when her life, her later marriage and her career demanded too much of her. Her many illnesses enabled her to retire into quiet reflection and protected her from noisy life until she felt strong enough to return.

Sara’s poetry follows the feminine school of poetry in that love was the central theme. Even though her early work is girlish, her discipline and clean simplicity display the strength of understatement which characterizes the body of her work. She wrote of her emotions, her emotional response to the world and people around her.

Sara first entertained thoughts of suicide in 1913 when a relationship she’d counted on failed to materialize. Later analysts credit these thoughts to her lack of self-worth. Since Sara placed high value on pleasing her father, judging herself as a reflection of him, when a man rejected her, her self-esteem plummeted. Sara had little or no experience with love affairs, or with men, and this is reflected in the romantic nature of her poetry.

When she married Ernst Filsinger, her life changed. So did her poetry.”

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