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-   -   5 short poems by Adelaide Crapsey (https://www.ablemuse.com/erato/showthread.php?t=183)

graywyvern 06-13-2001 08:11 AM

Text

NOVEMBER NIGHT

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

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.

THE WITCH

When I was a girl by Nilus stream
I watched the desert stars arise;
My lover, he who dreamed the Sphinx,
Learned all his dreaming from my 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 knows far too much--
And hanged her on the Salem green?


ANGELIQUE

Have you seen Angelique,
What way she went?
A white robe she wore,
A flickering light near spent
Her pale hand bore.

Have you seen Angelique?
Will she know the place
Dead feet must find,
The grave-cloth on her face
To make her blind?

Have you seen Angelique....
At night I hear her moan,
And I shiver in my bed;
She wanders all alone,
She cannot find the dead.


THE CRUCIFIXION

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.



robert mezey 06-15-2001 12:25 AM

"The Crucifixion" is pretty damn good, and new
to me; thanks for posting it. As for the rest,
I don't know. Yvor Winters was always high on
her, especially the cinquains, but I could never
see why. Well, as Borges liked to say of poets
he didn't dig, I am not worthy of her.

wendy v 06-19-2001 07:25 PM

I like her, too, Gray, though I grew tired of the cinquains in pretty short order. Here's one I've always admired for its lovely simplicity and for what I see as a seamless fit to the form:

Niagara
Adelaide Crapsey

Seen on a Night in November

How frail
Above the bulk
Of crashing water hangs,
Autumnal, evanescent, wan,
The moon.


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