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The Lighted Window
Sara Teasdale


He said:
“In the winter dusk
When the pavements were gleaming with rain,
I walked thru a dingy street
Hurried, harassed,
Thinking of all my problems that never are solved.
Suddenly out of the mist, a flaring gas-jet
Shone from a huddled shop.
I saw thru the bleary window
A mass of playthings:
False-faces hung on strings,
Valentines, paper and tinsel,
Tops of scarlet and green,
Candy, marbles, jacks—
A confusion of color
Pathetically gaudy and cheap.
All of my boyhood
Rushed back.
Once more these things were treasures
Wildly desired.
With covetous eyes I looked again at the marbles,
The precious agates, the pee-wees, the chinies—
Then I passed on.

In the winter dusk,
The pavements were gleaming with rain;
There in the lighted window
I left my boyhood.”

This poem is in the public domain.



Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933) was a Missouri-born poet afflicted with poor health from birth. She loved one man but married another, divorced, lost her best friend to suicide, and eventually committed suicide herself. Ironically, a majority of her poems are about love and beauty, and she won the first Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1918. There are some similarities to be drawn between Sara and Emily Dickinson; both were reclusive, both wrote intensely personal poetry that frequently focused on nature, both knew unrequited love.

Post New Comment:
Very emotional. Very lovely. A beautiful poem
Posted 12/30/2015 01:01 AM
A beautifully emotional poem about the child hood feelings that often come back later. Thanks
Posted 12/29/2015 07:05 PM
Liked it alot, thanks...
Posted 12/29/2015 04:57 PM
Beautiful choice--moving and hauntingly nostalgic! Janice
Posted 12/29/2015 12:21 PM
Nowhere is bleaker than 'in the winter dusk'. I like this.
Posted 12/29/2015 09:09 AM
I saw this poem as I read it...Felt it as well. What a treat it was.
Posted 12/29/2015 09:04 AM
I frequently come back to those scenes,although they may be left behind. It is a boy's view but, little girls can feel that way, too.
Posted 12/29/2015 08:47 AM
I'm always interested when female poets refer to themselves as males. Emily Dickinson did that too. Probably for a different reason.
Posted 12/29/2015 07:48 AM
Bleak or otherwise, a nice effort from a fine poet. Thanks, Jayne (as you would say "appreciate")
Posted 12/29/2015 06:30 AM
Phebe is funny. Yes, perhaps bleak but aftful. The marble "The precious agates, the pee-wees, the chinies"—are the perfect image of things coveted.
Posted 12/29/2015 06:19 AM
Golly. This one is, perhaps, only borderline bleak.
Posted 12/29/2015 05:31 AM

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