Saturday, November 7, 2015

Poetry Analysis: Wisdom by Sara Teasdale

by M. J. Joachim


It was a night of early spring,
The winter-sleep was scarcely broken;
Around us shadows and the wind
Listened for what was never spoken.



Though half a score of years are gone,
Spring comes as sharply now as then--
But if we had it all to do
It would be done the same again.

It was a spring that never came;
But we have lived enough to know
That what we never have, remains;
It is the things we have that go.

Analysis

Refining the seasons, Teasdale observes winter changing to spring, not only in nature, but moreover in life, specifically the life of the human soul. Winter is a sleepy time, a time where paltry activities take place, anticipating the arrival of spring and its new viability. Birthing is not easy, thereby signifying the harsh reality, that winter is sleepy, while spring is sharp, contrastingly so, yet ever expected, as it happens in perpetuity.

Spring did not come for one particular soul that year. Had time been given, nothing would have changed for that person, “It would all be done the same again.” The soul remains with the people left behind. Material things are let go absently, particularly because they don’t hold the same significance or meaning anymore.

This poem is hauntingly true, realistically so, as an abstract metaphor for releasing our physical life to the hereafter. Death becomes life, and life is sufficient without tangible evidence of its existence.

Wishing you and yours every good blessing,

M. J.

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