Adelaide Crapsey

Adelaide Crapsey was an American poet. In the years before her death, she wrote much of the verse on which her reputation rests. Her interest in rhythm and meter led her to create a variation on the cinquain (or quintain), a five-line form of twenty-two syllables influenced by the Japanese haiku and tanka. Her cinquain has a generally iambic meter and consists of two syllables in the first and last lines and four, six and eight syllables in the middle three lines.

Verses (1915)

  • The old
    Old winds that blew
    When chaos was, what do
    They tell the clattered trees that I
    Should weep?
    • "Night Winds"

  • These be
    Three silent things:
    The falling snow...the hour
    Before the dawn...the mouth of one
    Just dead.
    • "Triad"

  • Listen.
    With faint dry sound,
    Like steps of passing ghosts,
    The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
    And fall.
    • "November Night"

  • I know
    Not these my hands
    And yet I think there was
    A woman like me once had hands
    Like these.
    • "Amaze"
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