My town of St. Louis claims Sara Teasdale as one of its own, but you wouldn’t know it from any sign, memorial, plaque or other designation. The city does not discriminate; T.S. Eliot is treated the same way, although he does have a plaque on the sidewalk in front of where his house once stood.
Teasdale was born in St. Louis in 1884. She lived in a house on Lindell Boulevard, today the northern boundary of Forest Park. In 1902, her family moved to Kingsbury Place, a few blocks north and what in St Louis was and is known as a “private street.” The city’s Central West End is filled with these private streets, built by developers for the wealthy. Homeowners on these streets today continue to be responsible for street repair, maintenance, and snow removal, and the homes and the streets have largely survived the vicissitudes of urban decay.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph: Sara Teasdale in 1910.