Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstacy
Give all you have been, or could be.
By Sara Teasdale
What a lovely and wise poem from Sara Teasdale, early 1900s. How we should spend it all… Give all our time, heart, energy, thought, space to that which loves, embodies loveliness, and is lovely. We should turn away from all not reaching that standard.
Any human strife, selfish contention is an unnecessary argument. It is but an attempt to distract us from each “white singing hour of peace” awaiting us, if we will accept it.
Bio on Sara Teasdale:
Sara Teasdale received public admiration for her well-crafted lyrical poetry, which centered on a woman’s changing perspectives on beauty, love, and death. Teasdale’s work had always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. The later books trace her growing finesse and poetic subtlety.
Sara Trevor Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri, into an old, established, and devout family. She was home-schooled until she was nine and traveled frequently to Chicago, where she became part of the circle surrounding Poetry magazine and Harriet Monroe.
Teasdale published Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems, her first volume of verse, in 1907. Her second collection, Helen of Troy, and Other Poems, followed in 1911, and her third, Rivers to the Sea, in 1915. Sometimes she published under the pseudonym Frances Trevor.
In 1914 Teasdale married Ernst Filsinger but divorced in 1929 and lived the rest of her life as a semi-invalid. Many of Teasdale’s poems chart developments in her own life, from her experiences as a sheltered young woman in St. Louis, to those as a successful yet increasingly uneasy writer in New York City.
She won the first Columbia Poetry Prize in 1918, a prize that would later be renamed the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Critics found much of Teasdale’s poetry to be unsophisticated but full of musical language and evocative emotion.
Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems (1907), Helen of Troy and Other Poems (1911), Love Songs (1917), Flame and Shadow (1920), Dark of the Moon (1926), Stars To-night (1930), Strange Victory (1933)
Bio Source: poets.org, wikipedia.org, poetryfoundation.org