Treasure Island

Sara Teasdale

(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933 / Missouri)

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"It Is Not a Word"


It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem ("It Is Not a Word" by Sara Teasdale )

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  • Tim Kitchin (5/30/2014 7:02:00 AM)

    Very nice indeed. I felt the hush was contrasting with the awakening that I was expecting from the heart, however weakly...and I guess 'hush' is more than silence, but less than murmur. I read hush not as a state but as an instruction, a sound and a movement. The alliteration is beautiful, balanced in the final line. First verse is very precise grammatically. Great control. Lovely work. (Report) Reply

  • Katelin Taylor (4/10/2014 12:55:00 PM)

    But only a hush of the heart that has too much to keep
    Amazing lines! May write a poem off of these. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (3/19/2014 11:08:00 AM)

    .........my favourite stanza..
    But only a hush of the heart
    That has too much to keep,
    Only memories waking
    That sleep so light a sleep. (Report) Reply

  • Naveed Khalid (1/6/2014 3:45:00 AM)

    No sinless word hath e'er corrupted the tongue, that by mere philosophizing, bespeaks of the mind in her most exulted state. (Report) Reply

  • Augustus Egg (2/11/2010 7:58:00 AM)

    I must admit i click on here as much to read Mr Straw’s comments....frequently very entertaining, (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (2/11/2010 5:38:00 AM)

    Why are we getting the same poem twice in so short a time? This poem was commented on on 2/11/2009. There are thousands of poems by recognised poets. (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (2/11/2010 4:13:00 AM)

    'It is not a word spoken,
    Few words are said; ' The question is which word is not spoken? Is it love as most comments here assume, or regret, denial, shame or Lindsey? The taboo and refusal to address the consequences of this one word is absolute in this poem.
    'Nor even a look of the eyes
    Nor a bend of the head, ...' Sarah Teasdale fell in love with the famous poet Vachel Lindsey, he wrote her daily love letters, but she married a rich businessman, the next year. Why? Family pressure or money. They remain friends until Lindsey commits suicide two years before Sarah does. A sad story and a beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (2/11/2010 1:40:00 AM)

    'But only a hush of the heart
    That has too much to keep', ...lovely loving words from the hush of the heart....
    Said in a gentle genuine way with the depth of the content in tact..
    Simple yet excellent (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (2/11/2010 1:09:00 AM)

    Heart choked with so full of emotion hushes as little words provoking memories and disturbing light sleep to the stage of making poem out of it is quite fantastic! What could be that heavy emotional feeling? Love or great expectation or past sensational memories? (Report) Reply

  • dhainee pfafflin (2/11/2007 9:21:00 AM)

    can somebody kindly explain it to me please? i don't get this stuff. it's too deep. i can't dig that deep. i'm just 13. so please? pretty please, please, please? :) comment me please for the reply... thank you... (Report) Reply

  • Cecilia Nicoletti (2/11/2007 6:00:00 AM)

    A simple and direct poem.Carefully written as if it was writen by a College girl who wont ruin her poetry illussion by leaving the rhyme.Only a few significant words good enssembled and easy readable.Keep the rhyme and the tone and you ll be a poet.And she was so. (Report) Reply

  • Lori Orser (5/10/2006 12:58:00 PM)

    For me, this is an incredibly moving poem. She has put into words something that is in my heart. (Report) Reply

Read all 19 comments »

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