I Am Not Yours

by: Sara Teasdale 1884-1933

Poem with Explication

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Side By Side Explication

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Literal meaning

Sara wants to be with her lover desperately, but she cannot for unspecified reasons. She describes her longing to be vast and never ending. She also describes her lover as a perfect person.


The poem has a serious. but passionate tone shown by the diction. She uses words like "I long to be", "You love me", and "leave me deaf and blind". The speaker of this poem is Sara as she uses "I" throughout the poem and she is speaking to her lover. The poem is not a narrative and is a straightforward description of Sara's feelings toward her lover.


The poem is likely a lrical one as id describes the authors feelings. The poem shifts between a more serious tone to a passionate one. The first two lines beggin with a serious tone and then transition into a passionate one, "I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be". (Teasdale 1-2). This shows her figghting the depression because she knows that shee cannot be with her lover. She has a happy thought, but then returns to her resolved state of thinking. Each stanza is a sentence, showing that each one is a complete thought.


Sara uses simple language that is informal. Her word choice adds to the mood and tone. She uses imagery to show the serious of her desire to be with her lover, "Not lost, although I long to be, lost as a candle lit at noon, lost as a snowflake in the sea" (Teasdale 2-4).

Musical devices

There is a rhyme scheme of ABCB. However, in the last stanza slant rhyme is used in the last line. There is also repetition of the word "lost". This is repeated to show how she feels at the moment due to her separation from her lover and how she wants to be in regards to her lover's love.

Historical Context

Sara Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up in an old-fashioned family. She was home-schooled until she was nine. During her childhood she would frequently travel to Chichago where she became involved in Poetry magezine. She married in 1914 to Ernst Filsinger. She rejected many other suitors before this. It is likely that in her poem I Am Not Yours, she was referring to Earnst (Poets).

Song by Z. Stroope

Mekhi Gladden

I Am Not Yours- Z. Randall Stroope by Mekhi Gladden


"Sara Teasdale." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.