Saturday, July 19, 2014

Analysis of "November Night" by Adelaide Crapsey

Original poem reprinted online here: "November Night" by Adelaide Crapsey
Originally read: November 15, 2014
More information about the Poet: Adelaide Crapsey


This poem is the epitome of the cinquain since the progenitor of the cinquain is Adelaide Crapsey.  The form is sort of like the tanka which is based in syllabics this poem is 2, 4, 6, 8, 2.

The question is how does the form inform the poem or vice versa.

Well the usage of imagery is apparent in the first line with the command of "Listen" which forces the reader to hear the following lines.

"With faint dry sound / like steps of passing ghosts"  With simile with these lines, it's important to decide which has the most weight: the "faint" or "the ghosts."  Why?  A short poem is dependent on attention and when the attention is split between a simile, then the lost focus weakens the impact of the images in the poem.  If the focus is "faint" then, I feel, this poem won't work due to the over focus on sound; however, if the focus is "ghosts" then the poem works for me because the simile continues with the line, "The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees" since there is and added sense to metaphor through the visual image bringing another layer of depth.

The last line also finalizes the ghost metaphor and plays with a pun of "And fall."  Bringing a sense of lament not only to the season, but also the speaker and the situation.

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