Sara Teasdale

(8 August 1884 – 29 January 1933 / Missouri)

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'Only in Sleep'


Only in sleep I see their faces,
Children I played with when I was a child,
Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
Annie with ringlets warm and wild.

Only in sleep Time is forgotten -
What may have come to them, who can know?
Yet we played last night as long ago,
And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.

The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
I met their eyes and found them mild -
Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
And for them am I too a child?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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Comments about this poem ('Only in Sleep' by Sara Teasdale )

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  • Frank Avon (9/2/2014 3:08:00 AM)

    Simple and effective - and true to life. Furthermore, the variation on rhyme scheme is perfectly appropriate. Indeed, variations in rhyme can be quite interesting: half-rhymes, slant rhymes, internal rhymes, or not rhymes at all. Rhyme is NOT a law to be imposed on all poetry.

    I am not particularly impressed with the poetry of Sara Teasdale, but that does not keep me from finding this example quietly elegant. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Reed (9/2/2014 2:50:00 AM)

    Simple and beautiful capturing the innocence of childhood through nostalgic adult eyes (Report) Reply

  • Deepak Kumar Pattanayak (9/2/2014 1:42:00 AM)

    Deep and profound, only poet of her stature could bring such emotions that bind us with hearts never to be forgotten as eternity....... (Report) Reply

  • Don Mars (12/6/2013 12:04:00 PM)

    words connect to feelings and emotions, pulling thoughts up from the deep recesses of my mind and memories. sara teasdale does this masterfully. This poem especially for me. (Report) Reply

  • Don Mars (12/6/2013 11:58:00 AM)

    Kevin Straw is a troll- an udeduacted unrefined wanna be artist who used to cry when he lost and he took his ball with him. I wasted 10 seconds of my life posting this so i guess in the end, , he wins something of sorts. Go home loser we dont want you here (Report) Reply

  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (9/2/2013 9:17:00 PM)

    Only in sleep I see their faces,
    Children I played with when I was a child,

    Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
    And for them am I too a child? - Nice. (Report) Reply

  • Hashmina Habeeb (9/2/2013 12:36:00 PM)

    Beautifully written. It takes me down memories lane to those days when I was a child and when I used to play with my friends. great job Sara! (Report) Reply

  • Manohar Bhatia (9/2/2013 6:41:00 AM)

    {only in sleep} means only in a dream. Poem's innocence is in the words of the poet. Words, like doll-house, played, child, round faces go on to certify about our childhood.Nice poem Sara. (Report) Reply

  • Stephen W (8/26/2013 7:41:00 AM)

    Why shouldn't she change the rhyme-scheme if she feels like it? Or needs to in order to express what she wants to say?
    It's a lovely poem, and no more pointless than any other. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (9/2/2012 11:43:00 AM)

    What a pointless poem! And it is not beautifully constructed - she alters the rhyme scheme in the second verse. That The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces is not surprising as she is dreaming of them as children. It would be a nightmare if they were children and had aged faces. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (9/2/2010 8:20:00 AM)

    Indeed dream serves as Time Machine to the past as well as the future too! Nice question to think about! (Report) Reply

  • nomad omnia (9/2/2010 4:58:00 AM)

    Strangely familiar. I too dream as though a child or teenager. A soft, touching piece which bridges the century between her childhood and our today. (Report) Reply

Read all 28 comments »

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