Adelaide Crapsey


Okay, okay, okay. I need to curl up with my Luci Shaw, but first I needed to post a couple of things by this poet whom I have only recently discovered. She apparently wrote in the early part of the twentieth century and composed many different types of poems. Some of the most effective are reminiscent of the poetry of our own Mr. Core, q.v. I find it very similar to one of my favorite schools of more recent poetry--imagist. (Of course no one can even hope to equal the grandeur of the Cavalier and Metaphysical poets.) Here's a couple of short pieces by Ms. Crapsey.

Poems by Adelaide Crapsey

The Warning

Just now,
Out of the strange
Still dust . . . as strange, as still . . .
A white moth flew . . . Why am I grown
So cold?

The Guarded Wound

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

There is a haiku-like simplicity and a sheer joy in careful creation and cultivation of image. There is an oblique relation between title and poem that sets up a kind of dynamic tension. What precisely is the guarded wound? We might never know, and yet the image puts us tantilizing close to grasping the reality the poet was trying to convey. In short, I have found another poet I need to study in depth. There is a brilliant, subtle, quiet, passionate, and sad beauty in these two short pieces.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 23, 2002 7:41 PM.

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