Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 03

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 03,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 03

The Mother Exultant

Joy! Joy! Joy!

The hills are glad,

The valleys re-echo with merriment,

In my heart is the sound of laughter,

And my feet dance to the time of it;

Oh, little son, carried light on my shoulder,

Let us go laughing and dancing through the live days,

For this is the hour of the vintage,

When man gathereth for himself the fruits of the vineyard.

Look, little son, look:

The grapes are translucent and ripe,

They are heavy and fragrant with juice

They wait for the hands of the vintagers;

For a long time the grapes were not,

And were in the womb of the earth,

Then out of the heavens came the rain,

The sun sent down his warmth from the sky,

At the touch of life, life stirred,

And the earth brought forth her fruits in due season.

I was a maid and alone,

When, behold, there came to me a vision;

My heart cried out within me,

And the voice was the voice of God.

Yea, a virgin I dreamed of love,

And was troubled and sore afraid,

I wept and was glad,

For the word of my heart named me blesse’d,

My soul exhalted the might of creation.

I was a maid and alone,

When, behold, my lover came to me,

My belove’d held me in his arms.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Now is the vision fulfilled;

I have conceived,

I have carried in my womb,

I have brought forth

The life of the world;

Out of my joy and my pain,

Out of the fulness of my living

Hath my son gained his life.

Look, little son, look:

The grapes are ripe for gathering;

The fresh, deep earth is in them,

And clean water from the clouds.

And golden, golden sun is in the heart of the grapes.

Look, little son, look:

The earth, your mother,

And the touch of life who is your father,

They have provided food for you

That you also may live.

The vineyards are planted on the hillside,

They are the vineyards of my belove’d,

He chose a favorable spot,

His hands prepared the soil for the planting;

He set out the young vines

And cared for them till the time of their bearing.

Nopw is his labour fulfilled who worked with God.

The fruit of the vineyard is ripe,

The vintagers laugh in the sun,

They sing while they gather the grapes,

For the vintage is a good one,

The wine vats are pressed down and running over.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Now is the wonder accomplished;

Out of the heat of the living grape

Hath the hand of my belove’d

Wrung the wine of the dream of life.

Belove’d,

My little son’s father,

Together we have given life,

And the vision of life;

Shall we not rejoice

Who have made eternal

The days of our living.

Look, little son, look:

The grapes glow with rich juice;

The juice of the grape hath in it

The substance of the earth,

And the air’s breath;

It hath in it the soul of the vintage.

Put forth your hand, little son,

And take for yourself the life

That your father and your mother

Have provided for you.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

The halls are glad,

The valleys re-echo with merriment,

In my heart is the sound of laughter,

And my feet dance to the time of it;

Oh, little son, carried light on my shoulder,

Let us go laughing and dancing through the live days,

For this is the hour of vintage,

When man gathereth for himself the fruits of the vineyard.

1905

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Mourner

I have no heart for noon-tide and the sun,

But I will take me where more tender night

Shakes, fold on fold, her dewy darkness down.

And shelters me that I may weep in peace,

And feel no pitying eyes, and hear no voice

Attempt my grief in comfort’s alien tongue.

Where cypresses, more black than night is black,

Border straight paths, or where, on hillside slopes,

The dim grglimmer of the olive trees

Lies like a breath, a ghost, upon the dark,

There will I wander when the nightingale

Ceases, and even the veil`ed stars withdraw

Their tremulous light, there find myself at rest,

A silence and a shadow in the gloom.

But all the dead of all the world shall know

The pacing of my sable-sandall’d feet,

And know my tear-drenched veil along the grass,

And think them less forsaken in their graves,

Saying: There’s one remembers, one still mourns;

For the forgotten dead are dead indeed.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Parting.

Was it love breathed on us as on the skies

Dawn breathes for a short space and then is fled;

Or loved we never at all who but misread

With too dim vision the guarded mysteries?

Were we unfaithful or were we unwise,

Knew we not love, or if our love is dead,

If such were true, for grace of what is sped,

Could we not part with unaverted eyes?

But whence there looks askance as at strange fears?

Anmd when the far and muffled cryings that beat

Across the moment of our dire farewell?

Is here of sentience the dread burial?

Is it a still quick love that hear, oh hears,

The last earth fall, the sound of vanishing feet?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Plaint

Musicians O Musicians: Heartsease

Heartsease: an you will have me live play heartsease.

Light wind in the small green leaves

Play, oh play, my sad heart ease;

Birds, shake from your wilding throats

Tune`d charm of happy notes;

Shepherd, shepherd, pipe a shrill

A jocound pipe o’er vale and hill;

For from too much weeping I,

Maid forlorn, am like to die.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Pledge

White doves of Cytherea, by your quest

Across the blue Heaven’s bluest highest air,

And by your certain homing to Love’s breast,

Still to be true and ever true — I swear.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Proud Poet

Great Kings were dust and all their deeds forgot

Did my harp’s taut and burnished strings stand mute;

The fragrance of dead ladies’ lovely names

Blew never down but for my lute.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Saying of Il Haboul

Guardian Of The Treasure Of Solomon

And Keeper Of the Prophet’s Armour

My tent

A vapour that

The wind dispels and but

As dust before the wind am I

Myself.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Source

Thou hast

Drawn laughter from

A well of secret tears

And thence so elvish it rings, –mocking

And sweet.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Sun-Dial

Every day,

Every day,

Tell the hours

By their shadows,

By their shadows.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Warning.

JUST now,
Out of the strange
Still dusk . . . as strange, as still . . .
A white moth flew . . . Why am I grown
So cold?
Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

The Witch

When I was girl by Nilus stream

I watched the deserts stars arise;

My lover, he who dreamed the Sphinx,

Learned all his dreaming from eyes.

I bore in Greece a burning name,

And I have been in Italy

Madonna to a painter-lad,

And mistress to a Medici.

And have you heard (and I have heard)

Of puzzled men with decorous mien,

Who judged — the wench knew far too much —

And burnt her on the Salem green?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Thou art not friendly sleep that hath delayed

The long night through and still at dawn doth keep

Estranged from eyes that very weariness

Makes blind to dawn.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

To A Hermit Thrush

Art thou

Not kin to him

Who loved Mark’s wife and both

Died for it? O, thou harper in

Green woods?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

To an Unfaithful Lover

What words

Are left thee then

Who hast squandered on thy

Forgetfulness eternity’s

I Love?

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

To Man Who Goes Seeking Immortality Bidding Him Look Nearer Home.

Too far afield thy search. Nay, turn. Nay, turn.

At thine own elbow potent Memory stands,

Thy double, and eternity is cupped

In the pale hollow of those ghostly hands.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

To the dead in the grave-yard under my window

How can you lie so still? All day I watch

And never a blade of all the green sod moves

To show where restlessly you toss and turn,

And fling a desperate arm or draw up knees

Stiffened and aching from their long disuse;

I watch all night and not one ghost comes forth

To take its freedom of the midnight hour.

Oh, have you no rebellion in your bones?

The very worms must scorn you where you lie,

A pallid mouldering acquiescent folk,

Meek inhabitants of unresented graves.

Why are you there in your straight row on row

Where I must ever see you from my bed

That in your mere dumb presence iterate

The text so weary in my ears: “Lie still

And rest; be patient and lie still and rest.”

I’ll not be patient! I will not lie still!

There is a brown road runs between the pines,

And further on the purple woodlands lie,

And still beyond blue mountains lift and loom;

And I would walk the road and I would be

Deep in the wooded shade and I would reach

The windy mountain tops that touch the clouds.

My eyes follow but my feet are held.

Recumbent as you others must I too

Submit? Be mimic of your movelessness

With pillow and counterpane for stone and sod?

And if the many sayings of the wise

Teach of submission I will not submit

But with a spirit all unreconciled

Flash an unquenched defiance to the stars.

Better it is to walk, to run, to dance,

Better it is to laugh and leap and sing,

To know the open skies of dawn and night,

To move untrammel’d down the flaming noon,

And I will clamour it through weary days

Keeping the edge of deprivation sharp,

Nor with the pliant speaking on my lips

Of resignation, sister to defeat.

I’ll not be patient. I will not lie still.

And in ironic quietude who is

The despot of our days and lord of dust

Needs but, scarce heeding, wait to drop

Grim casual comment on rebellion’s end;

Yes;yes. . . Wilful and petulant but now

As dead and quiet as the others are.”

And this each body and ghost of you hath heard

That in your graves do therefore lie so still.

Saranac Lake, —

November — 1913

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Trapped

Well and
If day on day
Follows and weary year
On year . . . and ever days and years . . .
Well?
Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Triad.

THESE be
three silent things:
The falling snow . . . the hour
Before the dawn . . . the mouth of one
Just dead.
Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Vendor’s Song

My songs to sell, sweet maid!

I pray you buy.

Here’s one will win a lady’s tears,

Here’s one will make her gay,

Here’s one will charm your true love true

Forever and a day;

Good sir, I pray you buy!

XOh, no, she will not buy.Y

My songs to sell, sweet maid!

I pray you buy.

This one will teach you Lilith’s lore,

And this what Helen knew,

And this will keep your gold hair gold,

And this your blue eyes blue;

Sweet maid, I pray you buy!

Oh, no, she will not buy.

If I’d as much money as I could tell,

I never would cry my songs to sell.

I never would cry my songs to sell.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Warning to the Mighty

Ere the horne’d owl hoot

Once and twice and thrice there shall

Go among the blind brown worms

News of thy great burial;

When the pomp is passed away,

“‘Here’s a King,’ the worms shall say.”

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 02
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

White Rose

Not thou,
White rose, but thy
Ensanguined sister is
The dear companion of my heart’s
Shed blood.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Winter

The cold

With steely clutch

Grips all the land. .alack

The little people in the hills

Will die!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

You Nor I Nor Nobody Knows

You nor I nor nobody knows

Where our daily-taken breath

Vanisheth and vanisheth:

Where our lost breath’s flying goes

You nor I nor nobody knows.

Adelaide Crapsey Poems
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

Youth

But me

They cannot touch,

Old age and death. .the strange

And ignominious end of old

Dead folk!

Adelaide Crapsey Poems Part 01
Adelaide Crapsey Poems

 

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