The Beat: Adelaide Crapsey
Adelaide Crapsey is best known as the inventor of the American cinquain. She was born in 1878 in Brooklyn, NY, and she grew up in Rochester. In 1903, she began to show symptoms of tuberculosis which would eventually take her life in 1914. In spite of her illness, Crapsey attended the American Academy’s School of Classical Study in Rome, and then eventually returned to the U.S. to teach at Smith College. Shortly after her death, her first book of poems was published. It was called simply Verse.
Read "Amaze" and "Niagra" by Adelaide Crapsey
Bio and poems at the Poetry Foundation's website
Welcome to The Beat, a poetry podcast produced by Knox County Public Library. Today, you’ll hear two poems written by the poet Adelaide Crapsey, who lived from 1878 to 1914, and is best known as the inventor of the cinquain, a brief metrical form that resembles the Japanese haiku. Cinquains are just five lines long and each consecutive line has a fixed number of syllables. Here are two of Adelaide Crapsey’s cinquains, “Amaze” and “Niagra.”
Not these my hands
And yet I think there was
A woman like me once had hands
Seen on a Night in November
Above the bulk
Of crashing water hangs,
Autumnal, evanescent, wan,
The moon.Various voices:
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