Three Cinquains under the Moon (for Adelaide Crapsey)

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These were originally written for a “Full Moon Social” celebration hosted by Jeff Schwaner in October 2014..

October 8, 1914

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

Later

Rainfall
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:

Moon-Shadows

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: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/adelaide-crapsey

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

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