Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On This Day: Sara Teasdale

Poet Sara Trevor Teasdale was born 8 August 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri.

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale, published in 1920

The poem was written right after "the war to end all wars." An indictment surely on the devastation of nature by humans, who would not be missed by the birds and the trees. Our disrespect towards every living thing continues in this century.

Unfortunately now we make the robins and other creatures pay too with our radiation and chemicals.

My mother's favorite poet. We read this poem at my parents' memorial service when their ashes were deposited in the ground with a cherry tree at the Vos summer house in Zeeland (NL). We read Sea Fever, by John Masefield, too, because my father had sailed ships in his career.

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