Shall we, too, rise forgetful from our sleep,
And shall my soul that lies within your hand
Remember nothing, as the blowing sand
Forgets the palm where long blue shadows creep
When winds along the darkened desert sweep?
Or would it still remember, tho’ it spanned
A thousand heavens, while the planets fanned
The vacant ether with their voices deep?
Soul of my soul, no word shall be forgot,
Nor yet alone, beloved, shall we see
The desolation of extinguished suns,
Nor fear the void wherethro’ our planet runs,
For still together shall we go and not
Fare forth alone to front eternity.
Short Poem Analysis
"Love and Death" by Sara Teasdale is a poignant and introspective poem that explores the complex relationship between love and mortality. Through its evocative language and emotional depth, the poem delves into themes of love's endurance and the inevitability of death.
The poem begins with the assertion that "I should be glad of loneliness / And hours that go on broken wings." This opening suggests a willingness to embrace solitude and the passage of time, setting a contemplative tone.
Teasdale uses vivid and sensory imagery, such as "yellow leaves that fall," to depict the passage of time and the changing seasons. The imagery of autumn leaves falling symbolizes the natural cycle of life and death.
The poem's title, "Love and Death," immediately introduces the central themes. Teasdale explores the idea that love and death are intertwined, and love can persist even in the face of mortality.
The speaker expresses a desire for love to endure beyond death, stating, "And dead men's voices should be sweet / And hoarse the rustling of their palms." This desire for the continuation of love after death reflects a longing for immortality through the power of love and memory.
The poem concludes with a sense of resignation and acceptance. The speaker acknowledges that love may not conquer death entirely, but the memory of love can still provide solace and comfort.
"Love and Death" is a reflection on the enduring power of love in the face of mortality. It acknowledges the inevitability of death but suggests that love's impact can transcend it. Through its evocative imagery and contemplative tone, the poem invites readers to consider the profound and enduring nature of love, even in the shadow of mortality. It speaks to the idea that love, like memory, has the potential to outlast the physical realm and continue to hold significance in the lives of those who remember and cherish it.