Three Cinquains under the Moon (for Adelaide Crapsey)


This is my offering for Jeff Schwaner’s “Full Moon Social” celebration.

October 8, 1914

three silences
none harsher than your breath
dissipating into the night’s
bright mouth.


and wind. How I
would like to have touched you
if only with words trembling from
my lips.

October 8, 2014

A moon
that we might share
from mountain to the sea
a gift belonging to no one
but you.

Adelaide Crapsey’s last full moon lit the skies on October 4, 1914. She died four days later, at age 36. A poet well ahead of her time, she created the American cinquain, a five-line form of 22 syllables which I have followed in these three poems.

I discovered only after-the-fact that the Full Moon Social Jeff Schwaner hosted on October 8, 2014 fell on the 100th anniversary of Adelaide’s death. These poems were written with that particular evening still looming brightly in mind, to honor Adelaide Crapsey and the moon, whose separate but entwined lights we still share and celebrate.

In my hand is a copy of a slim volume of her poetry, titled Verse and published posthumously in 1915. The following cinquain is from this book:


Still as
On windless nights
The moon-cast shadows are,
So still will be my heart when I
Am dead.

Those interested in further details on Adelaide Crapsey might look here:

Details on the Full Moon Social may be found on Jeff Schwaner’s blog:


61 thoughts on “Three Cinquains under the Moon (for Adelaide Crapsey)

  1. This is absolutely beautiful – the American Cinquain structure itself allows for Haiku-like reflective moods to be captured and these 3 Cinquains are sumptuous! The opening verse itself is so beautiful, it is touching – ‘none harsher than your breath’ ; the ‘cutting’ lines if you will, in the other 2: ‘if only with trembling words’ and ‘belongs to no one but you’ are delectable! Glad to have found your work!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am very new to all this and absolutely love these poems! I am excited about trying this form myself. Thank you for reading my poem. I am looking forward to reading more of your work and learning from your amazing talent. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you for drawing my attention to this poet. What attracted me initially was her first name: it is the name of the city where I live, the capital city which in a few days time will be the hottest capital city in the world, on Xmas day

    Liked by 1 person

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