Interpretations of Sara Teasdale: Advice to a Girl

Here is an interpretation of Sara Teasdale’s Advice To A Girl!

In this poem, Sara gives her advice to a young girl who she feels as though she’s lost her freedom to her lover.

No one worth possessing

Can be quite possessed;

I see a lot to interpret in just these first two lines. It’s an empowering piece of advice for anyone that feels oppressed or “owned”. The keyword in the first line is “worth”.



Lay that on your heart,

My young angry dear;

This truth, this hard and precious stone,

Lay it on your hot cheek,

Let it hide your tear.

Hold it like a crystal

When you are alone

And gaze in the depths of the icy stone.

Anyone worth possessing has realized their self respect and independence to fight for themselves. This is the hard and precious stone  that Sara gives to the young girl; a reminder that she is worth more than even the crystal she holds in her hand, for that crystal is a possession, and no human should be thought of as a possession.

Long, look long and you will be blessed:

No one worth possessing

Can be quite possessed.

There’s an effect had on people when gazing upon an item; they may project their own issues onto it; contemplating the solution to their misery. She looks upon the stone, and Sara uses repetition here, first as an introduction, then as the epiphany our character experiences: she cannot be owned because she is better than that.