Since Death Brushed Past Me
By Sara Teasdale
Since Death brushed past me once more to-day,
Take without shame the love I give you,
Take it before I am hurried away.
You are intrepid, noble, kind,
My heart goes to you with my mind,
The plummet of your thought is long
Sunk in deep water, cold with song.
You are all I asked my dear -
My words are said, my way is clear.
When looking through the book for the perfect poem, I found Teasdale's reoccurring theme of ending poems in melancholy ways. I resulted to looking at the Table of Contents to see if a title could help me and then realized that her poems form stories, by their content and their titles. Since I assumed that Carpe Diem statements are usually at the end, I flipped to one of the last pages to find "Since Death Brushed Past Me". When reading it, I felt as if the poem was both a confession and a lesson. The persona of the poet says that during her life-threatening experience, she had realized that love is an important thing that one must accept with open arms and not take for granted. She describes her partner as a strong-minded person who does not accept affection easily, so in her poem she tells him to accept her love before it's no longer available. It reached out to me because it reminded me of Joe Blanda. He's a walking Carpe Diem example, telling us to do everything that we can before it slips away.
Sara Teasdale is known for being an American lyrical poet. At a young age, she fell ill and only started life at the age of fourteen. I think she wrote this poem with the intention of trying to disguise her unhappiness with life. This poem, at the end of Collected Poems of Sara Teasdale, is optimistic compared to most of her other poems, ending in tragedy and despair. This last poem, to me, seemed like it was Teasdale’s last reasonable thought before making a fatal decision. Unfortunately, her life ended due to suicide by over-dosing on sleeping pills, slowing slipping away from reality and reason.