In Mount Hope Cemetery remembering the tragic vision of Adelaide Crapsey

In Mount Hope Cemetery remembering the tragic vision of Adelaide Crapsey

• July 2, 2015

For those of us ineluctably drawn to the Mount Hope Cemetery, there is always something new and mysterious to be found. Yes, there is Douglass and Anthony. And all the obelisks erected for bygone Rochester aristocrats, magnates and their scions.  And General Otis’s slightly robbed grave site as he is now interred in Arlington National Cemetery.  Remembering General Elwell Otis on his Day, June 15th: Rochester’s imperial war hero  And those macabre evenings at sunset when, biblical-like, tens of thousands of black crows descend onto tree tops.adelaid

And just today I chanced upon a display recently placed around the grave of Rochester’s Adelaide Crapsey (1878 – 1914) and her family. As described in the placards, after ardently committing her life to art, Adelaide died tragically young, only 36. While a fine writer, she never did quite receive national fame or poetic immortality. (Although, some of her lines do grace the brick sidewalk, the Poets Walk, outside the Memorial Art Gallery.)  SEE Emotions recollected in tranquility on University Ave

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Lines from Adelaide’s poem on the MAG’s Poet Walk

But what the romantic poet’s life!  Perhaps from the grave Adelaide still composes Cinquains, her signature invention. Wander and witness for yourself.  But beware hovering crows at dusk.

Listen to the poem, “November Night,” (from which the excerpt on the sidewalk is taken).  http://tinyurl.com/9av34cx

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[Provided by Lu Harper, the librarian at the Memorial Art Gallery’s The Charlotte Whitney Allen Library]

POSTSCRIPT:  When I first wrote this post, I made a typo.  I had “poetic immorality” instead of “poetic immortality!”  While I fairly soon corrected the error, very much to my surprise, a reader in Arizona noticed the mistake!  I received this from a friend (still not sure how she came across it):

Paul Kuppinger reports that he found this sentence in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle of 11 July about the poet Adelaide Crapsey: “She never did quite receive national fame or poetic immorality.” It has, understandably, now been corrected.

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ADELAIDE

Banner outside Mt. Hope Cemetery. 1/7/17 [Photo: David Kramer]

UPDATE:

“Alone in the Dawn” Restorationist James Caffrey joins the conversation with more on Adelaide Crapsey

 

 

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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