Summary of poem ''Thought'' by Sara Teasdale.

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of this poem is "Thoughts." 

Some people are very happy in the company of others, and enjoy hearing what women and men around them have to say.  But Sara Teasdale is talking about when she is alone and has no men or women around her to listen to.  When we are alone, what do we have to listen to?  Our own thoughts are all we have when we are alone, and this was particularly true in Sara Teasdale'sday. She died in 1933, before there were televisions, computers, iPods, etc. (She could have turned on the radio, though.)  A person who is alone and who has a good imagination can sometimes have a better time than he or she could listening to other people, and this is the gist of Teasdale's poem. 

She describes her thoughts in a beautiful and imaginative way, with images of light and lightness.  She imagines her thoughts as "silver" or "white" and she says they "flutter."  SOme of her thoughts are "merry" and some are "grave," meaning that she has ideas that make her smile, and ideas that make her serious.

Can't you almost see your thoughts sometimes, fluttering around you in their beauty?  Sometimes those thoughts are much better than the silly chatter we hear all around us.  And if that is true, then we can envy the person who is able to sit quietly and think those wonderful thoughts. 

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Last night I had a dream about Sara Teasdale, and the dream made me realize that there might be more to this poem than I discussed last night.  It occurs to me that the thoughts Teasdale describes might be the thoughts of a person in love.  Quite often, when we are in love, our thoughts about the loved one are much better than the company of other people.  If you have ever thought you were in love with someone, or just had a bit of a crush, you might have found it more pleasant to just sit around and think your thoughts about that person, rather than listen to what the people around you are saying.  When you are alone, you might hug the idea of that person to yourself, thinking your romantic thoughts. 

Everyone brings his or her own experiences to the interpretation of a poem or any other form of literature.  As you read the poem, though, you might think about whether the narrator is a woman who just likes to sit and think her own thoughts or is a woman in love.