Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02,The exotically named Adelaide Crapsey was a New York-born poet and English literature teacher whose short life was tragically cut short by tuberculosis. Her poetry output was fairly substantial but she will best be remembered by students of 19th and 20th century poets as the inventor of a writing technique called “the cinquain”.

This was probably born out of her love of the Japanese “tanka and haiku” forms of writing. It’s a kind of compressed style of writing that had many admirers including another famous writer, Ezra Pound.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 03
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Bio

Adelaide was born in Brooklyn, New York in September 1878. Her father was an Episcopal priest who was eventually dismissed from his post following a trial for heresy in 1906. Some historians have pointed to this event, and the death of her eldest brother a year later, as major contributors to Adelaide’s failing health. It is very likely that the stress caused by two such tragic events, coming so close together, will have severely affected her health.

Adelaide Crapsey died on the 8th October, 1914, aged just 36.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02

Moon Shadows

Still as

On windless nights

The moon-cast shadows are,

So still will be my heart when I

Am dead.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

My Birds That Fly No Longer

Have yet forgot, sweet birds,

How near the heaven’s lie?

Drooping, sick-pinion’d, oh

Have yet forgot the sky?

The air that once I knew

Whispered celestial things;

I weep who hear no more

Upward and rushing wings.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Narcissus

“Boy, lying

Where the long grass

Edges the pool’s brim,

What do you watch

There in the water? The blue

Colour of Heaven

Mirrored, repeated? the brown

Tree-trunks and branches

Waveringly imaged? These,

Boy, do you watch?”

“Nay but mine eyes;

Nay but the trouble

Deep in mine eyes.”

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Niagara

Seen on a night in November

How frail

Above the bulk

Of crashing water hangs,

Autumn, evanescent, wan,

The moon.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Night

I have minded me

Of the noon-day brightness,

And the cricket’s drowsy

Singing in the sunshine. .

I have minded me

Of the slim marsh-grasses

That the winds at twilight,

Dying, scarcely ripple. .

And I cannot sleep.

I have minded me

Of a lily-pond,

Where the waters sway

All the moonlit leaves

And the curled long stems. .

And I cannot sleep.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Night Winds.

THE old
Old winds that blew
When chaos was, what do
They tell the clattered trees that I
Should weep?
Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Nor moon,

Nor stars . . the dark . . and in

The dark the grey

Ghost glimmer of the olive trees

The black straight rows

Of Cypresses.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

November Night

Listen . . .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.
Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Now Barabbas Was a Robber

No guile?

Nay, but so strangely

He moves among us. . Not this

Man but Barabbas! Release to us

Barabbas!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Oh Lady, Let the Sad Tears Fall

Oh Lady, let the sad tears fall

To speak thy pain,

Gently as through the silver dusk

The silver rain.

Oh, let thy bosom breathe its grief

In such soft sigh

As hath the wind in gardens where

Pale roses die.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Old Love

More dim than wining moon

Thy face, mort faint

Than is the falling wind

Thy voice, yet do

Thine eyes most strangely glow,

Thou host . . thou ghost.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

On Seeing Weather Beaten Trees

Is it as plainly in our living shown,

By slant and twist, which way the wind has blown?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Part II

To Walter Savage Landor

Ah, Walter, where you lived I rue

These days come all too late for me;

What matter if her eyes were blue

Whose rival is Persephone?

Fiesole, 1909

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Perfume of Youth

(Girl’s Song)

In Babylon, in Nineveh,

And long ago, and far away,

The lilies and the lotus blew

That are my sweet of youth to-day.

From those high gardens of the Gods

That eyes of men may never see,

The amaranth and asphodel

Immortal odours shed on me.

In vial of my early years,

As in a crystal vial held,

What precious fragrance treasured up

Of age and agelessness distill’d.

XThine but to give. Give straightway all.Y

Yea, straight, mine hands, the ointment rare

In great libation joyous pour!

Oh, look of youth. . . Oh, golden hair. . .

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Pierrot

For Aubrey Beardsley’s picture

“Pierrot is dying”

Pierrot is dying:

Tiptoe in,

Finger touched to lip,

Harlequin,

Columbine and Clown.

Hugh! how still he lies

In his bed,

White slipped hand and white

Sunker head.

Oh, poor Pierrot.

There’s his dressing gown

Across the chair,

Slippers in the floor. . .

Can he hear

Us who tiptoe in?

Pillowed high he lies

In his bed;

Listen Columbine.

“He is dead.”

Oh, poor Pierrot.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Rapunzel

All day, all day I brush

My golden strands of hair;

All day I wait and wait..

Ah, who is there?

Who calls? Who calls? The gold

Ladder of my long hair

I loose and wait..and wait..

Ah, who is there?

She left at dawn..I am blind

In the tangle of my long hair..

Is it she? the witch? the witch?

Ah, who is there?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Refuge in Darkness

With night’s

Dim veil and blue

I will cover my eyes,

I will bind close my eyes that are

So weary.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Release

With swift

Great sweep of her

Magnificent arm my pain

Clanged back the doors that shut my soul

From life.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Roma Aeterna

The sun

is warm today,

O Romulus, and on

Thine older Palentine the birds

Still sing.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Rose-Mary of the Angels

Little Sister Rose-Marie,

Will thy feet as willing-light

Run through Paradise, I wonder,

As they run the blue skies under,

Willing feet, so airy-light?

Little Sister Rose-Marie

Will thy voice as bird-note clear

Lift and ripple over Heaven

As its mortal sound is given,

Swift bird-voice, so young and clear?

How God will be glad of thee,

Little Sister Rose-Marie!”

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Sad of Heart.

Thou beautiful and ivory gates

That shut my tears away from me —

Even, at last, such refuge yield

That great, safe doors of Ebony.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Safe.

Force and bluster? Mighty threatenings?

Scorn I lightly, — Not for these.

Tell me when shall great Orion

Catch the flying Pleuades?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Shadow

A-sway,

On red rose,

A golden butterfly. .

And on my heart a butterfly

Night-wing’d.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Snow

Look up . . .
From bleakening hills
Blows down the light, first breath
Of wintry wind . . . look up, and scent
The snow!
Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Song

I make my shroud but no one knows,

So shimmering fine it is and fair,

With stitches set in even rows.

I make my shroud but no one knows.

In door-way where the lilac blows,

Humming a little wandering air,

I make my shroud and no one knows,

So shimmering fine it is and fair.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Susanna and the elders

“WHY do
You thus devise
Evil against her?” “For that
She is beautiful, delicate;
Therefore.”
Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Tears.

The immemorial grief of all years

Burdes my heart sorely, and the years

Of slow eternal crying stain my cheeks.

Forever and forever my soul speaks

Saying: I am thy self: Look on me —

And weep. Never and never shalt thou be

As I. Weep; for weeping and hard pain

Of loss measure joy of last visioned gain.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Companions

Three grey women walk with me

Fate and Grief and Memory.

My fate brought grief; my grief must be

With me through Eternity,

Such thy power, memory.

Three grey women walk with me.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Crucifixion

And the centurion who stood by said:

Truly this was a son of God.

Not long ago but everywhere I go

There is a hill and a black windy sky.

Portent of hill, sky, day’s eclipse I know;

Hill, sky, the shuddering darkness, these am I.

The dying at His right hand, at His left,

I am — the thief redeemed and the lost thief;

I am the careless folk; I those bereft,

The Well-Belov’d, the women bowed in grief.

The gathering Presence that in terror cried,

In earth’s shock in the Temple’s veil rent through,

I; and a watcher, ignorant, curious-eyed,

I the centurion who heard and knew.”

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Cry of the Nymph to Eros

Hear thou my lamentation,

Eros, Aphrodite’s son!

My heart is broken and my days are done.

Where the woods are dark and the stream runs clear in the dark,

Eros!

I prayed to thy mother and planted the seeds of her flowers,

And smiled at the planting and wept at the planting. Oh violets,

Ye are dead and your whiteness, your sweetness, availed not. Thy

mother

Is cruel. Her flowers lie dead at the steps of the altar,

Eros! Eros!

With a shining like silver they cut through the blue of the sky

Eros!

The dove’s wings, they white doves I brought to thy mother in worship;

And I said, she will laugh for joy of my doves. Oh, stillness

Of dead wings. She laughed not nor looked. My doves are dead,

Are dead at the steps of her altars. They mother is cruel,

Eros, Eros!

Hear thou my lamentation,

Eros, Aphrodite’s son!

My heart is broken and my days are done.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Death of Holofernes

Israel!

Wake! Be gay!

Thine enemy is brought low —

Thy foe slain — by the hand, by the hand

Of a woman!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Elgin Marbles

The clustered Gods, the marching lads,

The mighty-limbed, deep-bosomed Three,

The shimmering grey-gold London fog . . .

I wish that Phidias could see!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Entombment

In a cave born

(Mary said)

In a cave is

My Son buried

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Event.

Lo, how they weave — the imperturbable three —

Those threads that are my destiny:

Steadily at the eternal task they’re bent

Industrious . . . indifferent . . .

Weave, Fates! And what your spinstry weaves I’ll forthwith wear

And if it clothe me for the day or death’s no air.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Fiddler

“There’s be no roof to shelter you;

You’ll have no where to lay your head.

And who will get your food for you?

Star-dust pays for no man’s bread.

So, Jacky, come give me your fiddle

If ever you mean to thrive.”

“I’ll have the skies to shelter me,

The green grass it shall be my bed.

And happen I’ll find some where for me

A sup of drink, a bite of bread;

And I’ll not give my fiddle

To any man alive.”

And it’s out he went across the wold,

His fiddle tucked beneath his chin,

And (golden bow on silver strings)

Smiling he fiddled the twilight in;

And fiddled in the frost moon,

And all the stars of the Milky Way,

And fiddled low through the dark o’ dawn,

And laughed and fiddled in the day.

But oh, he had nor bite nor sup,

And oh, the winds blew stark and cold,

And when he cropped on his grass-green bed

It’s long he slept on the open wold.

They digged his grave and “There,” they said,

“He’s got more land that ever he had,

And well it will keep him held and housed,

The feckless bit of a fiddling lad.”

And it’s out he’s stepped across the wold

His fiddle tucked beneath his chin —

A wavering shape in the wavering light,

Smiling he fiddles the twilight in,

And fiddle in the frosty morn,

And all the stars of the Milky Way,

And fiddles low through the dark o’ dawn,

And laughs and fiddles in the day.

He needeth not or bit or sup,

The winds of night he need not fear,

And (bow of gold on silver strings)

It’s all the people turn to hear.

“Oh, never,” it’s all the people cry,

“Came such sweet sounds from mortal hand;”

And “Listen,” they say, “It’s some ghostly boy

That goes a-fiddling through the land.

Heark you! It’s night comes slipping in, —

The moon and the stars that tread the sky;

And there’s the breath o’ the world that stops;

And now with a shout the sun comes by!”

Who heareth him he heedeth not

But smiles content, the fiddling lad;

“It’s many and many a happy day,”

He says, “My fiddle and I have had;

And I’ll not give my fiddle

To any man alive.”

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Grand Canyon

By Zeus!

Shout word of this

To the eldest dead! Titans,

Gods, Heroes, come who have once more

A home!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Guarded Wound

If it
Were lighter touch
Than petal of flower resting
On grass, oh still too heavy it were,
Too heavy!
Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Immortal Residue Inscription for my verse

Wouldst thou find my ashes? Look

In the pages of my book;

And as these thy hand doth turn,

Know here is my funeral urn.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Lonely Death

In the cold I will rise, I will bathe

In waters of ice; myself

Will shiver, and shrive myself,

Alone in the dawn, and anoint

Forehead and feet and hands’

I will shutter the windows from light,

I will place in their sockets the four

Tall candles and set them a-flame

In the grey of the dawn; and myself

Will lay myself straight in my bed

And draw the sheet under my chin.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Monk in the Garden

He comes from Mass early in the morning

The sky’s the very blue Madonna wears;

The air’s alive with gold! Mark you the way

The birds sing and the dusted shimmer of dew

On leaf and fruit?..Per Bacco, what a day!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

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