Wisdom

Sara Teasdale was an American lyric poet born in St. Louis, Missouri on 8 August 1884

In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize for her collection Love Songs.
The prize was later officially renamed the Pulitzer Prize. after newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer
Weakened after a difficult bout with pneumonia, she died by suicide in 1933

Wisdom

When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange–my youth.

(From the 1917 collection Love Songs, a volume of romantic poems to her husband)

In this poem there is the sad realization that Wisdom comes only with age and the passing of time, when youth is completely over

Saggezza

Quando avrò smesso di spezzarmi le ali
contro l’imperfezione delle cose,
e imparato che i compromessi aspettano
dietro ogni cancello socchiuso,
quando avrò fissato negli occhi la vita,
divenuta calma e freddamente saggia,
la vita allora mi avrà dato la Verità,
e si sarà presa in cambio – la mia giovinezza.
(Trad: L.Z.)

Image: Sara Teasdale. Photograph by Gerhard Sisters, ca. 1910 Missouri History Museum Photograph and Print Collection. Portraits n21492

78 thoughts on “Wisdom

  1. I versi che hai splendidamente tradotto, Luisa, mi fanno sorgere una domanda: quando la vita sarà calma e freddamente saggia? Non oso rispondere, perché quando ciò avvenisse non sarà la giovinezza in cambio, ma la vita stessa.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Non voglio scriverlo neppure io
      Domani avrei voluto pubblicare una poesia di ee cummings in cui conclude che la morte non è solo una parentesi, ma lo farò fra qualche giorno… non voglio sprofondare ulteriormente nell’angoscia

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      1. Sono d’accordo, Luisa. Purtroppo è un pensiero che più o meno insegue tutti, soprattutto i poeti. E questo è uno dei motivi per cui la gente non legge le poesie (sbagliando – aggiungo io – perché non si sfugge. Meglio guardarla negli occhi e attenderla con quella serenità che solo nella poesia si può trovare). Buona serata. Grazie della risposta, Luisa 🌹

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  2. HI LUISA, HOPEFULLY YOUR HAVING GREAT WEATHER AND OUT AND ABOUT THIS WEEKEND .🚗🚲📽 ANOTHER WONDERFUL POET , SORRY FOR HER SICKNESS AND SUICIDE BUT SOMETIMES A SENSITIVE PERSON CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH !!!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. LUISA YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME REMEMBER AND THINK ABOUT MUCH, MY MOTHER WAS VERY SENSITIVE GIRL SAW TO MUCH, WAS ATTACKED BY A MAN AT SEVEN YEARS OLD IN THE 1930s SHE HAD NOTHING ON HER SIDE , AT ELEVEN YRS OLD SHE HAD A SERIOUS SKIN DISORDER CALLED ECZEMA, TAKEN OUT OF SCHOOL ,LATER SHE TOLD ME, WHEN THIS HAPPENED MY GRANDMOTHER AND OTHER WOMEN MELTED DOWN THE SAP OF BIRCH TREE HELD HER DOWN, POURED IT INTO THE CREASES OF THE ELBOWS ,NECK, TOES, BEHIND KNEES AND UPPER INSIDE THIGHS. BURNING HOT LIQUID. BANDAGE HER UP , LEAVE THIS ON FOR TWO WKS. WOW IT WAS HOT SUMMERTIME. WHEN THE BANDAGES CAME OFF BEAUTIFUL NEW PINK SKIN. JUST TO SURVIVE THOSE TWO THINGS . BUT THE POINT IS THAT MADE HER VERY MUCH MORE. EVERY TIME SHE SAW A WHITE BIRCH TREE SHE CRIED. SHE HAD TWO MORE HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES SOON AFTER AND WENT IN THE NUNNERY TO BE A NUN BUT AS YOU CAN SEE THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT .AND LATER THREE SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, ILLNESS AND DEATH released HER FINALLY AT EIGHTY THREE YRS OLD . I WROTE A SHORT STORY ON MY MOTHER WHEN I WAS 18YRS OLD ( CALLED) A LIFE NEVER LIVED .THANK YOU LUISA 🚮🆓️🌧🌈

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  3. LUISA I HAD IT UNTIL THE YR. 2002 WHEN MY HUBBY GENO DECIDED HE WANTED TO MAKE A BOMB FIRE AND DESTROY MANY OF HIS OLD SCHOOL BOOKS FROM COLLEGE LOTS OF ARTICLES ON RELIGION OLD MAGAZINES UNFORTUNATELY MY PRECIOUS ARTWORK AND SHORT STORIES WERE INCLUDED, I WOULDN’T TALK TO HIM FOR ABOUT 3DAYS BUT AGAIN I FORGIVE . AS WE DO !!! 🤪😡

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      1. HA HA ,LUISA I TELL MYSELF THAT , OFTEN . LOVELY GENO IN A RAGE DESTROYED EVERY SINGLE PICTURE OF HIM AND I TOGETHER, NOT ONE LEFT 45 YRS TOGETHER IN JUST A FLASH GONE BECAUSE I BOUGHT A BEAUTIFUL OLD VICTORIAN HOME FOR A GREAT PRICE WITH MY OWN MONEY AND I PAID FOR ALL REPAIRS OVER 100,000.DOLLERS AMERICAN MONEY BOUGHT ALL THE FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES THAN GAVE IT TO HIM , AND A THANK YOU ,OR WORDS OF HAPPINESS, BUT LEARNED THE GREEN EYED MONSTER OF JEALOUSY CAN TAKE OVER THE BEST PEOPLE IN ONE’S LIFE !!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. WHEN A MAN LIKE GENE DOES SOMETHING LIKE THAT IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPREHEND, SOMEONE SO UTTERLY UNIQUE, SO VERY GIFTED , NEVER A BAD TEMPER, TOOK CARE OF HIS 93YR, OLD FATHER AND SICK ELDERLY MOTHER AND epileptic dog WHEN I MET HIM , KEPT A PROMISE THAT THEY WOULD NEVER BE IN A NURSING HOME DID IT ALL ALONE. I AS A 16 YR OLD GIRL WAS VERY IMPRESSED . BUT ALL IN ALL STILL,,,,, MY CLOTHES, SHOES COATS JEWELRY WERE DESTROYED MY FIRST ADDITION BOOKS, GOLD BOUND, I OF A KIND POETRY BOOKS EVERYTHING GONE FOREVER IT TOOK YRS TO COLLECT THEM, BUT OUR PHOTOS THAT WAS THE VERY WORST LUISA, BUT LATER WAS THE SURPRISE,,,,, THE CUSTOM MADE BLACK GRAND MARQUIS LUXURY CAR I JUST BOUGHT GENE WAS COMPLETELY SMASHED UP A BLOCK FROM MY NEW HOME (( WHY ? )) BECAUSE ON OUR WEDDING DAY I WAS TOLD, WE WILL NEVER HAVE A HOUSE, AND AS A 18 YR OLD BABY I SAID OKAY I LOVE YOU !!! GENE WAS NOT A BAD PERSON BUT TO SOME PEOPLE IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT CONTROL AND POWER AND WHEN YOU STEP OUT OF THE BOX YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE .. DEARLY . THANK SWEETHEART I APPRECIATE YOU LUISA, PLUS IF SOMEONE ELSE CAN LEARN FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE BLESS THEM

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      3. Unfortunately it is difficult to learn from the experience of others: if it were possible the world would be a better place. Everyone must have their own experience, try and maybe make a mistake: it is the only way for the results to be truly and totally acquired.

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      1. Sono il mio vissuto: hai ragione (però da donna, anche se di una certa età. lasciami dire che sarei più felice se la mappa della mia vita presentasse in modo meno marcato le vie che ho percorso) 😇

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      1. Take no notice Pat. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by people who have had a better education than me. I’m certainly not bragging, but I’m not complaining either 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Una donna molto sensibile e drammaticamente sfortunata se è arrivata a fare quel gesto estremo. Forse dalla Vita avrà visto una verità terribile. Che splendidi personaggi ci fai conoscere Luisa, grazie!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope I’ve gained some wisdom as I’ve aged, but I would gladly give some of it back for a few of the things of my youth that I took for granted. Just the basics of more stamina and abilities to do things like going up and down stairs easily. Skin, hair, and better eyesight while nice are not in my top three.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Life will have given me the Truth,
    And taken in exchange–my youth.” WOWW! How hard-hitting! Beautiful like about the sad reality of life. They said it rightly that “life’s biggest tragedy is that we become old too soon and wise too late.” Great post! The poem is marvellous. Simply genius! 👍🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Parole struggenti, bellissime, che a mio avviso nascondono la certezza che mai si può raggiungere la Verità….ma è bella l’illusione come è bello pensare che la “giovinezza” può essere solo la pace dell’anima e del corpo.

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