Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933

Alternative names
Birth 1884-08-08
Death 1933-01-29

Biographical notes:

Sarah Teasdale, an American poet, was born in 1884 in Saint Louis, Missouri to John W. Teasdale and Mary E. Willard. She was tutored at home and then graduated from a local private school in 1903. In 1905 she visited Europe and in 1907 she published her first collection of poems. In 1911, the publication of "Helen of Troy" introduced her to Louis Untermeyer, who, with his wife Jean, was to become a lifelong friend. On December 19, 1914, she married Ernst B. Filsinger. They divorced fifteen years later. Following the divorce, she published numerous volumes of poetry. Sarah Teasdale committed suicide on January 29, 1933 in New York.

From the guide to the Teasdale correspondence MS 0022., 1909-1930., (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)

Robert Russell Bennett was an American composer, orchestrator and conductor.

From the guide to the Robert Russell Bennett papers, 1911-1981, (Music Library)

American poet.

From the description of Papers of Sara Teasdale [manuscript], 1888-1934 (bulk 1905-1933). (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647824517

From the description of Letter to Ward Edwards [manuscript], 1920 November 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 647814547

Sara Teasdale was an American poet.

From the description of Sara Teasdale collection of papers, 1912-1932. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122607225

From the guide to the Sara Teasdale collection of papers, 1912-1932, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

American lyric poet.

From the description of Letter, 1931 Nov. 20, to Paul Favorite Rosse. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122625041

Sara Teasdale was one of the most popular American poets of the post World War I era. A traditional lyric poet, much of her work considers love and beauty from a female perspective, although her verse continued to evolve throughout her career. Her poems were popular with both the public and literary critics, and she was awarded the first Columbia Poetry Prize (later renamed the Pulitzer Prize). Shy and eager to know what others thought of her, her personal life was often unsettled and unhappy, ending in her suicide in 1933.

From the description of Sara Teasdale letter to Mr. Braithwaite, 1914 Feb. 26. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 56394290

Locher, Frances C. (ed.) Contemporary Authors. Volume 104. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1982. p. 466. Mainiero, Lina (ed.) American Women Writers. Volume 2. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1980. pp. 452-454 Malone, Dumas (ed.) Dictionary of American Biography. Volume V. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961. pp. 373-374. Quartermain, Peter (ed.) Dictionary of Literary Biography. Volume 45: American Poets, 1880-1945. First Series. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1986. pp. 396-405.

American poet Sara Teasdale was born August 8, 1884, in St. Louis, Missouri, to merchant John Warren and Mary Elizabeth (Willard) Teasdale. After attending Mrs. Lockwood's School and the Mary Institute she was graduated from Hosmer Hall in 1903. Between 1904 and 1907 Teasdale and a group of friends published a monthly literary magazine, The Potter's Wheel, which met with success in St. Louis.

Teasdale traveled extensively and made frequent trips to Chicago, where she eventually became part of Harriet Monroe's Poetry magazine circle and met numerous other poets. After rejecting the poet Vachel Lindsay as a suitor, she married St. Louis businessman, Ernst Filsinger, in 1914. She divorced Filsinger in 1929, against his wishes.

"Guenevere" was Teasdale's first poem to be printed, appearing in Reedy's Mirror in 1907. Teasdale's first book, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems, was published by Poet Lore in the same year. Among her other books of poetry were numerous volumes published by Macmillan, including Rivers to the Sea (1915), Love Songs (1917), Flame and Shadow (1920), Dark of the Moon (1926), and Strange Victory (1933). In 1918 Teasdale was awarded the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America and the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (forerunner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) for Love Songs .

Popular during the early twentieth century, Teasdale's poems appeared in numerous periodicals including Harper's, Scribner's, Century, Forum, Lippincott's, Putnam's, Bookman, and New Republic .

On January 29, 1933, having become increasingly depressed and reclusive, Sara Teasdale died of an overdose of sleeping pills. She was buried in St. Louis, Missouri.

Teasdale addresses the first four letters in this collection to poet and critic Joyce Kilmer. Born Alfred Joyce Kilmer on December 6, 1886, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he attended Rutgers College (1904–1906) and was graduated from Columbia University with an A. B. in 1908. In June of the same year he married Aline Murray, step-daughter of Henry Mills Alden. Before joining the staff of the New York Times Magazine and Review of Books in 1913, he worked on the staff of the Standard Dictionary (1909–1912) and as editor of the Churchman (1912–1913).

Several collections of Joyce Kilmer's poetry were published, most notably Trees and Other Poems (1914). The title poem of this volume was published in the literary journal Poetry and attained world-wide popularity. However, Kilmer is more often remembered as a brave World War I soldier who died on July 30, 1918, during an attack of the hills above the Ourcq in France. He was honored by burial at the spot where he fell and awarded the Croix de Guerre posthumously.

The remaining fifty-three letters were written by Teasdale to Aline Kilmer, also a poet. Born on August 1, 1888 at Norfolk, Virginia, Aline Murray Kilmer, was educated at Rutgers Prep and at the Vail-Deane School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Although she published several poems prior to her marriage, her first collection of poems, Candles That Burn, was not published until 1919. In addition to two more volumes of poetry, she wrote two children's books and Hunting a Hair Shirt (1923), a collection of brief personal essays.

Aline Kilmer died on October 1, 1941, in Stillwater, New Jersey.

From the guide to the Sara Teasdale Letters to Joyce and Aline Kilmer, 1912–1932, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Women poets, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Book reviewing
  • Poets, American--20th century--Archives
  • Authors and publishers
  • Love poetry, American--20th century
  • Poets, American--20th century--Correspondence
  • Imagist poetry
  • American poetry--20th century


  • Women poets, American--20th century
  • Librettists
  • Poets, American--20th century
  • Collector


not available for this record