Friday, November 01, 2013

Poetry Friday - November Night and Triad

I've been reviewing poetic forms while selecting topics for my Monday Poetry Stretch series. Since cinquain will be coming up soon, I thought I'd share a few examples today.

November Night
by Adelaide Crapsey

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

You might know Adelaide Crapsey as the inventor of the cinquain. Even though she authored fewer than 100 poems, her work is spare, yet powerful. Writing through illness and her impending death, much of her work touches on death and dying. Here's an example of one of those poems.

by Adelaide Crapsey

These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow…the hour
Before the dawn…the mouth of one
Just dead.

You can learn more about Crapsey at The Poetry Foundation. If you want to read more of her poetry (she did write more than cinquains), take a look at Verse by Adelaide Crapsey.

Check out other poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda at Teacher Dance. Happy Poetry Friday all!


  1. I have shared her work with my third grade students. We particularly like November Night which I will be sharing today! This is a form that is helpful for kids to think about.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to Crapsey's work -- didn't know she invented the cinquain. The two you shared here are indeed powerful. She hits the bullseye in so few words.

  3. Beautiful words, and as you said, few and then powerful. I've written a few, and then read many autumn poems in this past month. I would say that November Night is one of the best. Thank you Tricia.

  4. Both of these cinquains are great. I can kind of imagine the second one on a zombie's t-shirt.

  5. I like these SO much better than the formulaic drivel that teachers let kids produce in the name of "we wrote poems check it off." Same problem with acrostics that don't say anything. I need to write a few examples so that I've got the form fully under my belt and can advocate for MEANING within the form! (Hmm...methinks it's time to join up your Monday challenges. Others are writing a November poem a DAY. Maybe I can manage one a WEEK!?!)

  6. I love "November NIght." I don't know Crapsey's work at all, but am thinking that I would like to read some more of her poems.

  7. Hi, Tricia--long time no visit! I knew of Adelaide, but these are works that I didn't know and they turn the pieces that Mary Lee calls "formulaic drivel" on their unsophisticated heads. Thanks!

  8. I so love the cinquain and I didn't realize Adelaide Crapsey wrote them in a state of terminal illness. Wow! Your selections are outstanding!

  9. Thanks for the reminder about how this form began - and for these stunning examples. And hear, hear Mary Lee & Heidi!