Sara Teasdale

(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933 / Missouri)

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"My Heart Is Heavy"


My heart is heavy with many a song
Like ripe fruit bearing down the tree,
But I can never give you one --
My songs do not belong to me.

Yet in the evening, in the dusk
When moths go to and fro,
In the gray hour if the fruit has fallen,
Take it, no one will know.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • * Sunprincess * (1/5/2014 8:15:00 AM)

    ............a wonderful poem...it says to me in the evening, if you are with me...maybe you can take my secret and if you wish you can give me your secret and together we will be soul mates....the poetess so wants to share the secret which leaves her heart so heavy... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh Rai (1/5/2014 2:33:00 AM)

    Really love is like, '' Take it, no one will know ''. A deepest meaning of love is expressed. in the crowd who is stealing whose heart. no one can say or know about. only the person who has stolen and who has been stolen. bow before the grt observer given words for the universal feelings. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes (1/5/2013 4:15:00 AM)

    As usual Mr Straw is dead wrong. A beautiful lyric poem and very deep and full of hidden meaning in the sub text. (Report) Reply

  • Nauduri Suryanarayana Murty (12/18/2011 10:53:00 PM)

    I beg to differ with Joey Valenzuela in interpretation of the poem.
    The the words'when moths go to and fro' indicate death and the movement of moths in the coffin under ground. While she continues to love her lover, she can't sing in praise of him. She can sing in praise of love in general and per chance, in distant time, if it seems apertain to him, she asks him to appropriate it. She pretty well knows that neither she nor her lover would survive the time. use of 'dusk' to indicate death is intentional; fruit is not bodily riches but the song she sings in praise of love; and the 'gray' hour is the length of time that passes when nobody is identifiable. Yet if this dedicatory song is recognised... she appeals to her lover, to enjoy and be satisfied be with it. I feel this is a poem transcends material and mundane love.


    Yet in the evening, in the dusk
    When moths go to and fro,
    In the gray hour if the fruit has fallen,
    Take it, no one will know. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammad Muzzammil (12/13/2010 7:32:00 PM)

    Very attractive poem that also expresses the the state of a poet and his or her poetry in a nice pretty style. No doubt, this poem has come out from the heart and goes to another heart who reads it. (Report) Reply

  • Joey Valenzuela (1/5/2010 10:53:00 PM)

    guys, , , try to look at this.....

    In 1913 Teasdale fell in love with poet Vachel Lindsay. He wrote her daily love letters, but nevertheless she married Ernst Filsinger in 1914 when she was 30; he was a rich businessman. Teasdale and Lindsay remained friends throughout their lives.

    In 1918, her poetry collection Love Songs won three awards: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America. She was not happy in her marriage, becoming divorced in 1929. In 1933, she committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Her friend Lindsay had committed suicide two years earlier.

    THIS IS TEASDALES BIOGRAPHY....

    and this is having a quite connection to this poem....

    My heart is heavy with many a song>>she is really inlove-with Lindsay, probably

    Like ripe fruit bearing down the tree, >>comparable to a tree with many fruit (so this means she's really inlove with him and that its very heavy to make the tree or its branches bow down) -very heavy that it made her wish she could go to him.

    But I can never give you one ->>>
    My songs do not belong to me.>>she is inlove with the man but she can give no more to him coz she's already married, she is already a possession of Ernst Filsinger..

    Yet in the evening, in the dusk>>
    When moths go to and fro, >>>>she is inlove with him in a way that she would offer herself to him if he, probably, would sneak to her when her husbands not around....its something like she's HOPING about a hidden love or something....

    In the gray hour if the fruit has fallen, >>>the gray hour probably mean ''if my husband's not around-away or something......and the fallen fruit is her becoming free from his husbands eyes....

    Take it, no one will know.>>>>>>>>>>> AT LAST look at this, she's saying he could go to her, and maybe make love, OR they could ran away....no one will know and her husband won't know-coz he's away... (Report) Reply

  • Herman Chiu (1/5/2010 7:22:00 PM)

    Very insightful, with great touches of well designed image.
    I especially like the way it moves the idea forward, and gives a conclusion/option that makes me smile. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (1/5/2010 6:00:00 AM)

    Teasdale must have been in a down mood. Darkness for the song. Moths small, the only one's around. Weighted in her heart with wanting to give, but only if by chance. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (1/5/2010 5:48:00 AM)

    The metaphor of the fruit “bearing down” the tree is poor. A tree and its fruit are in perfect harmony - the fruit is what the tree is made for. You may say the tree is heavy with fruit, but to say it is being born down by its fruit is to ascribe human emotion to a tree.

    When poet says “But I can never give you one” does she mean that she is like a tree heavy with fruit, but unlike the tree she cannot release her fruit. i.e. her song? If so then how can her “fruit” fall later in the poem.

    How does a song fall from the heart without being given? A song is not the possession of a poet, but is a gift to him or her which he or she gives to the world.

    What have moths to do with anything?

    I really have no idea what the narrative is underlying this poem. There is a good poem simmering somewhere in these lines, but Teasdale has allowed her lyric gift to overcome the necessary intellectual rigour needed to produce it – she has dropped the fruit before it was ripe! (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (1/5/2010 1:56:00 AM)

    Nothing belongs to us is quite true! Whatever we make or create is for others to take and get benefited! We have come with nothing and we have to go with nothing at the end! What we have made by taking from the Earth belongs to it and so, after our fruits of song fallen to the Earth all can take and enjoy seems logically a fact! (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (1/5/2010 1:25:00 AM)

    With whom were you put up dear poet...not to own the songs...but to be used in spooky hours...? a clever poem (Report) Reply

Read all 28 comments »

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