If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Sara Teasdale's poem Water Lilies

2 Comments

  1. susan says:

    This poem makes me think its about friendship after love. If you have forgotten how sweet it felt, you may be around them, perhaps find friendship. If however you remember it too well, you cannot be near it.

    • SADIRI ORDINARIO says:

      To me, it is one of the sexiest poems I have the great fortune of reading. Sara used to be in love with Vachel Lindsay another poet who I believe was quite unstable for a lasting .relationship. Needles to say, they both enjoyed love-making and Sara would at times fantasize what transpired between them…yet her feminine pride prevents her from completely taking him back so she discourages him to remember their erstwhile joys and admonishes him to turn again to the more mundane and boring things. There he will not experience the quietness that follows love’s end and the almost threatening emptiness or darkness that follows will not “fall on his heart.”

Leave a Reply to SADIRI ORDINARIO Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Sara Teasdale better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.