What Is "Barter" by Sara Teasdale?


Quick Answer

"Barter" is an 18-line poem from the 1917 collection "Love Songs" by Sara Teasdale. The word "barter" means "trade," and the reader is advised to trade everything for a short moment of ecstasy. Teasdale, who lived from 1884 until 1933, is known for her musical language and evocative emotions.

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Full Answer

Teasdale's life was cut short by suicide, but her poetry was both critically acclaimed and publicly praised during her lifetime. A New York Times Book Review contributor talked about "the exquisite refinement of Sara Teasdale's poetry" in regards to her book "Dark of the Moon," (1926) and that it "shows how near Sara Teasdale can come to art's ultimate goals." Teasdale's work was characterized by its simplicity and clarity.

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