Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN SORROW, by SARA TEASDALE



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IN SORROW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It is not my own sorrow that opens my mouth
Last Line: Even my life?
Alternate Author Name(s): Filsinger, Ernest B., Mrs.
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


It is not my own sorrow that opens my mouth;
Tonight it is the weeping of the world that shakes me.
I am lost for once in the ocean of men,
I am lost in a sea shoreless and black,
Wider than space,
Moving forever under a sky that is heavy.
In agony a child was born.
It was beautiful, but it died in an hour.
Yet the idiot with hanging hands cannot die.
He stands in the sun and frightens the passing children.
The old man shakes as he walks, and his eyes are pitiful,
They seek other eyes too feebly to draw their gaze.
They ask for comfort, they ask to forget the coming of death.
The young man dies in his youth.
His eyes had life to give and love to hold --
Where is his strength, who has taken it?
I heard the voice of the lonely thousands,
I heard them crying for joy before they die;
And the millions and millions of dead,
The undreamed-of millions --
What are we who have come from their sorrow and pain?
"It is spring," I said, "I will go to the fields for solace."
The orchard was bright with bloom, but against my face
The meek little petals kept falling, quietly falling.
Back to the earth they went with a frail reluctance.
A cat crept out through the fence by the shabby farm-house.
She caught a red-bird and bit through its feathery breast,
Bearing it off with a sneaking shyness
But never a touch of joy.

If out of the pain came pleasure, we might forgive it,
But out of the pain comes nothing but pain again.
What can I do
Where can I shed my blood
That those who are thirsty may drink?
Is my life a useless gift,
Even my life?





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