cinquain. And her Japanese-influenced imagism, independent of Ezra pound's work and influence, was eclipsed by more influential poets (see imagist school). Nevertheless her poems remain popular and are widely imitated.
Crapsey was born in Brooklyn, raised in Rochester, New York, and educated at Vassar College, where she met Jean Webster, who wrote Daddy Long-Legs and other novels about the New Woman, the emancipated, enlightened, and educated woman of the 1890s, with the character of Crapsey in mind. Crapsey's plans for further studies and a career in writing were repeatedly interrupted by recurrent, undiagnosed weakness and the financial setbacks caused by her minister fathers conviction for heresy. she taught at various schools, including smith College, but her career was cut short by a diagnosis of tuberculosis, from which she died more than a year later. A manuscript of verses and other uncollected poems and her incomplete study of English metrics were published in the years following her death.
one of her most popular poems, frequently reprinted and discussed, is "To the Dead in the GraveYard under My Window" (1914), an autobiographical work expressing great desire for an active life, despite the enforced rest determined by treatment for tuberculosis and the knowledge of her impending death. But it is for her cinquains that Crapsey is most frequently mentioned. Analogous to the Japanese forms of haiku and tanka, the cinquain is constructed of five lines of different lengths. The first and last lines consist of two syllables or one stress, the second line has four syllables or two stresses, the third line six syllables or three stresses, and the fourth line has eight syllables or four stresses. The result is a visual, rhythmic, and auditory experience that gives the effect of increasing anticipation that ends in completion. Her cinquains often seemed to anticipate some of the principles and structure of William Carlos Williams in their determination to force the reader to pay attention, attempting to engage the reader in optimistic anticipation and see through the wasteland to hope. "Look Up," she begins her poem "Snow" (1914), and "Listen," she commands in "November Night" (1913), to the way the leaves fall. in these and other poems, the attention to the delicate details of nature point to a gradually expanding spiritual revelation that parallels the cinquain structure.
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