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My Inner Anthology: Meadowlarks by Sara Teasdale

Written by Rachael Norris, 28th April 2021

Today's reading recommendation comes from The Reader's Somerset Hub Leader, Laura Merritt. Laura recommends a piece from her 'inner anthology' Meadowlarks by Sara Teasdale. As April is both National Poetry Month and Stress Awareness Month, the readings we have chosen to share this month all meet the theme of 'balm for the soul'.




IN the silver light after a storm,
Under dripping boughs of bright new green,
I take the low path to hear the meadowlarks
Alone and high-hearted as if I were a queen.
What have I to fear in life or death
Who have known three things: the kiss in the night,
The white flying joy when a song is born,
And meadowlarks whistling in silver light.

Sara Teasdale

I have always found this uplifting but when I recently read it again, it struck me how such a relatively short poem can convey so much. When I read:  ’boughs of bright new green,’ not only did I relate it to our own present emergence into Spring but I also felt there was a sense of hope and revival which coincides with our own world beginning to emerge again after a year of restrictions.  The poem begins and ends with ‘silver light’ and we also hear of ‘white flying joy when a song is born’. When the poet asks: ‘what have I to fear in life or death’; this feels, for me, ethereal, almost celestial with the suggestion of an eternal joyousness at having heard the meadowlark’s song. I adore the contrasts in this poem too.  For example, taking the ‘low path’ to hear the meadowlarks but then we hear that she is ‘high hearted as if I were a queen’.  Absolutely lovely.


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