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Sara Teasdale on Poetry Without Conflict

Sara Teasdale on Poetry Without Conflict

“My heart is crowded full of foolish thoughts.” - A November Night by Sara Teasdale

I’m not gonna lie, this is my favorite time of year. ‘Tis the season of fires and leaves falling like snow. And although, I have long since put my school days behind me, the rhythm of the season still lingers in my habits: Big, brilliant books and stupid Halloween costumes, the rhythm of intense work and holiday play, the stark light and early dark, hot beverages and the chill outside that invites jackets and boots and hats and cozy, intimate indoor gatherings. It’s a little cheesy to say out loud, but admit that you like all the things.

Spring is the cliché season of love, but that’s a sucker’s game. Yes, I personally met the most amazing person in my life in the Spring of 2000. But it’s an aberration I tell you! Fall is the season of romance. Don’t believe me? Look at the seasonal birth patterns and get back to me.

Which brings us to Sara Teasdale’s A November Night. Although Teasdale is lesser known today, her 1917 collection Love Songs won the award that would later become the first Pulitzer Prize for poetry. This particular poem is remarkable to me for its unwaveringly positive tone. It has almost no conflict at all, no real tension to resolve, and yet it tells a charming, romantic story with a contagious exuberance.

The TLDR Version:

What Is It:
 A November Night by Sara Teasdale.

Fun Fact: Teasdale won the very first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Not the first woman writer to win it, the first writer to win it. Go girl! 

What Makes it Awesome: Most writers will tell you that the central element of all good story telling is conflict. But rules were meant to be broken. A gorgeous, uncomplicated celebration of the act of falling in love, this poem effortlessly pulls off the impossible.

Why Read It:  It’s filled with magic and rich details that ring true and save if from sentimentality.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse inside our illustrated edition of Sara Teasdale’s A November Night - book three from our Illustrated Classics Collection.

About the Art

“Sara Teasdales’s dreamy, amorous walk, visually reimagined. This fully illustrated book brings Teasdale's exquisite words to life, following the unbroken "line of lights" that lead the narrator through an evening where everything is made magical by her romantic mood.”

Art by Evan Robertson. All rights reserved.

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