Within three and four years after the birth of Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) two other poets were born in that most southern of Middle Western cities, St. Louis, Missouri, two poets whose work was so dissimilar to hers that their names can be mentioned only by way of contrast to everything she wrote. These two were Marianne Moore in 1887 and Thomas Stearns Eliot in 1888, and though between their work and Sara Teasdale’s there seems more than a generation of advance in technic, subject matter, scope, and reputation, it is sometimes well to recollect that their dates of birth were within a single, and now memorable, half-decade. Though Sara Teasdale seemed always to have been a little old for her age, she also retained some of the instinctive, childlike wisdom and immaturity of those grown old too soon. One thinks of her as one of the “singers” who might well have lightened Clarence Stedman’s “twilight interval” with a note of fresh authentic “song.” Like Lizette Reese, Sara Teasdale created the illusion of being born a poet or, as Virginia Woolf once wrote of Christina Rossetti, an “instinctive.”
Gregory, Horace and Marya Zaturenska. A History of American Poetry, 1900-1940. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1942. 98-99.