Treasure Island

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

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

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  • 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

  • Claudia Krizay (9/2/2009 8:31:00 PM)

    notbad but in my opinion only satisfactory- I have read better poems on this site that I would rather see being poem of the week.
    anonymous (Report) Reply

  • Michael Harmon (9/2/2009 1:07:00 PM)

    Perhaps, in sleep-and the requirements of poetic theme-time, and rhyme schemes, are forgotten... (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (9/2/2009 5:40:00 AM)

    The middle verse jars a bit because of the absence of the rhyme pattern set in the first. One wonders at the personal context of such a sad retrospective poem. (Report) Reply

  • Hazem Al Jaber (9/2/2009 5:06:00 AM)

    true dear poet..
    just when we got off mind gets it desires and a reality only when we sleep..
    wonderful written..
    hazem al.. (Report) Reply

  • Talia Anziliero (9/2/2007 7:56:00 PM)

    Wonderfully written. The expressions and detail of memory was awe inspiring. Sweet and tender. But like Jim Jensen I agree, a hint of melancholy. Lovely, I enjoyed reading it. (Report) Reply

Read all 22 comments »

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