Choices

CHOICES

If I can’t do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what I don’t want
to do

It’s not the same thing
but it’s the best I can
do

If I can’t have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what I’ve got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

Since I can’t go
where I need
to go . . . then I must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn’t lateral

When I can’t express
what I really feel 
I must practice feeling
what I can express
and none of it is equal
I know
but that’s why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

by Nikki Giovanni

Sarah Teasdale 1884 – 1933

One of my favourite poets is Sarah Teasdale. Her poems have hidden meanings and reflect her life very clearly.

Her biography:

Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933), was an American lyrical poet. She was born Sarah Trevor Teasdale in St. Louis, Missouri. Throughout her life, Teasdale suffered poor health and it was only at age 9 that she was well enough to begin school. In 1898 she went to Mary Institute and to Hosmer Hall in 1899 where she finished in 1903.

In 1913 Teasdale fell in love with poet Vachel Lindsay. He wrote her daily love letters, but nevertheless she married Ernst Filsinger in 1914 when she was 30. Teasdale and Lindsay remained friends throughout their lives.

In 1918, her poetry collection Love Songs won three awards: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America.

Teasdale was a product of her upbringing, and was never able to experience the passion that she expressed in her poetry. She was not happy in her marriage, becoming divorced in 1929. In 1933, she committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Her friend Lindsay had committed suicide two years earlier.

Her poems are available here, it is a free PDF download

Sarah Teasdale

The poem below “Did you Never Know” speaks volumes.

Did You?

“Did You Never Know?”

That your love would never lessen and never go?

Did you never know, long ago, how much you loved me?

You were too young to know.

You were young then, proud and fresh-hearted,

Far apart, far away in the gusty time of year

Fate is a wind, and red leaves fly before it

I know your secret, my dear,

Seldom we meet now, but when I hear you speaking,

Sarah Teasdale

I Want Tomorrow

Dawn breaks; there is blue in the sky,
your face before me though I don’t know why.
Thoughts disappearing like tears from the Moon.
Waiting here, as I sit by the stone,
they came before me, those men from the Sun.
Signs from the heavens say I am the one.

Now you’re here, I can see your light,
this light that I must follow.
You, you may take my life away, so far away.
Now I know I must leave your spell
— I want tomorrow