Sara Teasdale was born in 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri. As a child she was frequently in poor health and had to be home school until she was nine years old. She grew up in a staunchly religious household and was privately educated, starting at the Mary Institute, and then Hosmer Hall from where she graduated in 1903. In the early years of her career she was a member of The Potters, a group of female artists; together they published The Potter’s Wheel.
Teasdale’s first poem was published in Reedy’s Mirror in 1907 and in that same year she published her first book, Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems. Her second collection, Helen of Troy and Other Poems was published in 1911 and was received very well by readers and critics.
Teasdale was married in 1914 and moved with her husband to New York in 1916. She worked throughout this period on her own poetry as well as editing two anthologies, The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women, and Rainbow Gold for Children. Her third collection, Rivers to the Sea was published in 1915. Her poems are noted for their emotional subject matter and lyrical language. She gained fame during her lifetime and won the first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1918. Teasdale was also awarded the Poetry Society of America Prize for Love Songs.
Throughout the 20s Teasdale’s husband traveled frequently for business. The separation was too hard on Teasdale and in 1929 she moved away in an effort to gain a divorce. He was unaware of her intentions and was very surprised when he found out. The following years saw Teasdale suffer from bouts of pneumonia. She was in a very weakened state when in the early 1930s she committed suicide by overdosing sleeping pills. She was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.
Today she is known as a lyric poet whose work was mainly concerned with a beauty, love and death. She was known to incorporate her own experiences into her poetry, from those of youth to those of depression.