Sara Teasdale Poem Analysis

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Sara Teasdale was an American born lyrical poet whose work focused on expressing a woman’s changing perspective on beauty, love, life, and death during the time of the Gilded Age in America. Many of her works were thought to portray her own perspective on said topics. Later in life, Teasdale struggled with her mental health and, as a result of this, depression eventually caused her to take her own life at forty-nine years old (“Sara Teasdale”). Teasdale’s bleak view of her own life during her later years is mirrored in “Barter” as the speaker expresses clear feelings of regret; as described in the poem, the speaker believes that she herself has not lived her life to the full extent. Through imagery, tone change, and an extended metaphor, Teasdale supports her vital message to the reader that one must take full advantage of the wonders of life before the opportunity to do so becomes no longer achievable. One way that Teasdale is able to manifest the importance of fully absorbing the happiness life has to offer is through describing vivid images throughout the poem. Sensory details are used to paint a picture as the speaker highlights the beauty of the sight of “blue waves” that “whitened on a cliff” (3) in addition to the melodic sound of “soaring fire that sways and sings” (4). These colorful words provide the reader with a sense of serenity. In the following stanza, the words used to create the pictures are more precise. Music is being described as the specific

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