Death Looms

ed rosenthal
September 1, 2015

Several years ago, I became interested in the cinquain, a deceptively simple verse form invented (or, rather refined) around a hundred years ago by a poet who died too young.  The poet's name was Adelaide Crapsey, and part of my interest was simply that my mother's name was Adelaide, and I'd never known a poet by that name.

The talented Ms. Crapsey was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the brain at the age of 32, and died a few years later.  All of her later work is focused on the idea of approaching death. The following cinquain, to which I have given a title in the Crapsey manner, was written in her honor:


Death looms.
Once, I cowered.
Now, I give anxiety
Another name; I turn my head
And wait.

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"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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