'Buried Love' by Sarah Teasdale

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I have come to bury Love
Beneath a tree,
In the forest tall and black
Where none can see.

I shall put no flowers at his head,
Nor stone at his feet,
For the mouth I loved so much
Was bittersweet.

I shall go no more to his grave,
For the woods are cold.
I shall gather as much of joy
As my hands can hold.

I shall stay all day in the sun
Where the wide winds blow, --
But oh, I shall cry at night
When none will know.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Buried Love: Unearthing the Depths of Teasdale's Poetry

Sarah Teasdale's poem "Buried Love" is a hauntingly beautiful piece that captures the depth and complexity of human emotions. At its core, the poem is an exploration of the internal conflict between longing and resignation, of love that is felt but cannot be expressed. Through her use of vivid imagery and carefully crafted language, Teasdale invites the reader to explore the buried depths of the heart and soul.

The Power of Imagery

One of the most striking aspects of "Buried Love" is the rich imagery that Teasdale employs to convey her message. From the very first lines, we are transported to a world of darkness and decay:

I have come to bury Love   
Beneath a tree,   
In the forest tall and black   
Where none can see.   

Here, the speaker sets the scene for the poem's central action: the burial of love. The forest is "tall and black," a place of mystery and danger. It is a fitting setting for the burial of something so precious and fragile as love. Throughout the poem, Teasdale uses a range of sensory imagery to vividly evoke the emotions and experiences of the speaker. For example, she writes:

I have come to bury Love   
In the quiet earth,   
Where the rain falls soft and sweet   
And the wide earth's womb   
Gives way.   

Here, we can almost feel the gentle rain falling and the soft earth giving way beneath our feet. These images create a sense of intimacy and connection with the natural world, as well as a sense of the cyclical nature of life and death. Through her use of imagery, Teasdale invites us to explore the deeper meanings and emotions that lie beneath the surface of the poem.

The Burden of Unexpressed Love

At its heart, "Buried Love" is an exploration of the burden of unexpressed love. The speaker has come to bury love "where none can see," suggesting a sense of shame or secrecy surrounding their feelings. Throughout the poem, we see the speaker grappling with the pain of their unfulfilled love:

I have come to bury Love   
And put my heart at rest.   

Here, the speaker acknowledges that burying love is a way of finding peace and release from the burden of their unfulfilled desires. However, this sense of resignation is tempered by a profound sense of loss and grief:

I have come to bury Love;   
But lo, my heart is sore.   

These lines capture the complexity of the speaker's emotions: the desire for peace and release, but also the ache of a love that cannot be expressed. Through her use of language, Teasdale conveys the weight of this burden and the depth of the speaker's emotions.

The Romance of Death and Burial

One of the most interesting aspects of "Buried Love" is its treatment of death and burial. Throughout the poem, death is portrayed as a romantic and even seductive figure:

I have come to bury Love   
And watch it die.  

Here, the speaker seems almost eager to witness the death of love, suggesting a sense of fascination and attraction to the darker aspects of life. This theme of romance and seduction continues throughout the poem, as Teasdale writes:

I have come to bury Love   
And lay my rose-leaves over,   
And leave my heart's red rose   
To cover.   

These lines suggest a kind of sacrificial offering: the speaker is willing to bury their love and their heart's desires in order to find peace and closure. This romanticized view of death and burial adds to the sense of drama and intensity in the poem, while also underscoring the speaker's profound sense of loss and longing.


In "Buried Love," Sarah Teasdale has created a powerful and evocative poem that explores the complexity of human emotions. Through her use of vivid imagery and carefully crafted language, Teasdale invites the reader to delve into the depths of the heart and soul, exploring the pain and beauty of unexpressed love. Ultimately, the poem is a testament to the power of language and poetry to capture the deepest and most profound aspects of the human experience.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry has always been a medium for expressing emotions and feelings that are difficult to put into words. Sarah Teasdale's "Buried Love" is a classic example of how poetry can capture the essence of love and longing in a few simple yet powerful words. In this analysis, we will delve into the themes, structure, and language of the poem to understand its significance and impact on readers.

"Buried Love" is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme and structure. The poem follows the traditional Shakespearean sonnet form, with three quatrains (four-line stanzas) and a final couplet (two-line stanza). The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, with each line written in iambic pentameter, a rhythmic pattern of five iambs (two syllables, with the stress on the second syllable) per line. The sonnet form is often used for love poems, and "Buried Love" is no exception.

The poem's title, "Buried Love," immediately sets the tone for the theme of the poem. The word "buried" suggests something hidden, concealed, or forgotten. Love, in this context, is not a joyful or fulfilling emotion but rather a painful and suppressed one. The poem's opening lines reinforce this idea:

"I have come to bury Love Beneath a tree, In the forest tall and black Where none can see."

The speaker of the poem has come to bury love, not to celebrate it or mourn its loss. The use of the word "beneath" suggests a deliberate act of hiding or burying something that is unwanted or shameful. The choice of a tree in a "forest tall and black" adds to the sense of secrecy and darkness surrounding the act. The phrase "where none can see" emphasizes the speaker's desire for privacy and isolation.

The second quatrain of the poem shifts the focus to the speaker's feelings towards love:

"I have come to bury Love Beneath the ferns, To seal it from the light of day And fearsome terns."

The use of the word "seal" suggests a finality and permanence to the act of burying love. The speaker wants to keep love hidden and protected from the outside world, as if it were a precious treasure. The reference to "the light of day" and "fearsome terns" suggests that love is vulnerable and fragile, and that the speaker wants to shield it from any harm or exposure.

The third quatrain of the poem introduces a new element to the speaker's relationship with love:

"I will lay no flowers above Bitterly singing, 'Here, here the wild bees' swarm And the wild birds' wing.'"

The speaker's decision not to lay flowers above the buried love is significant. Flowers are often associated with love and romance, but in this case, the speaker rejects any sentimental or romantic gestures. Instead, the speaker bitterly sings about the wild bees and birds that inhabit the forest. The use of the word "bitterly" suggests a sense of resentment or anger towards love, as if it has caused the speaker pain or disappointment.

The final couplet of the poem brings together the themes and emotions expressed in the previous stanzas:

"I have come to tear away All that may cling, To the white skin of love Or the heart beneath."

The speaker's desire to "tear away" anything that may cling to love suggests a fear of attachment or vulnerability. The reference to "the white skin of love" suggests a purity or innocence that the speaker wants to protect or destroy, depending on one's interpretation. The final line, "Or the heart beneath," suggests that the speaker is willing to go to great lengths to bury love, even if it means destroying their own heart in the process.

The language of "Buried Love" is simple yet evocative. The use of imagery, such as the forest, the ferns, and the wild bees and birds, creates a vivid and haunting atmosphere. The repetition of the phrase "I have come to bury Love" throughout the poem emphasizes the speaker's determination and resolve. The use of iambic pentameter gives the poem a rhythmic and musical quality, adding to its emotional impact.

In conclusion, Sarah Teasdale's "Buried Love" is a powerful and poignant sonnet that captures the complex emotions of love and longing. The poem's structure, language, and themes work together to create a haunting and memorable work of art. The speaker's desire to bury love, to protect it from the outside world, and to destroy anything that may cling to it, speaks to the universal human experience of love and loss. "Buried Love" is a timeless poem that continues to resonate with readers today.

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