Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914) was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Algemon Sidney Crapsey and Adelaide (Trowbridge) Crapsey. She attended public school in Rochester, and then Kemper Hall, an Episcopal girls’ preparatory school in Kenosha, Wisconsin, before entering Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she was class poet for three years and editor-in-chief of Vassarion in 1901, the year she graduated. That same year her sister Emily died, and Adelaide delayed starting her teaching career for a year. In 1902 she took a position at Kemper Hall, where she taught until 1904. She then spent a year at the school of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome and taught for two years at Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts.
Crapsey was in poor health starting in 1908. In 1911, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, but she withheld the news from her family and continued to teach at Smith until she collapsed in the summer of 1913. She then moved to a private cure cottage in Saranac Lake, New York, where she stayed for a year. In August, 1914, Crapsey returned to Rochester, where she died on October 8, 1914, at the age of 36.
If day on day
Follows, and weary year
On year …. And ever days and years…
By Adelaide Crapsey
1. Poetic Devices
“TRAPPED” is a kind of Cinquain Word Count/ Syllable Poem. It is a short unrhymed poems consisting of twenty-two syllables. They were distributed into 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 syllables in five lines. This type of poetry was related to Japanese literary styles. There are many types of cinquain, but most of them have five lines.
a. Diction. Each word in this poem is selected for particular reason. Especially to conform with the format of cinquain poem that consist of 22 syllables which are distributed in 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 in five line only.
b. Connotations. Most words employ in this poem have many connotations. The words carry various implications or associations. For example the word “day” carries various association. For us it can be associated with time, and also it can be associated with activity.
2. Atmosphere. The general tone and mood of this poem that we feel after analyzing this poem is worries. It is emphasized with the word in last line, “well?.” The end of this poem is full questionable result, whether it is good or not. Sometimes we realize that something didn’t run smoothly, but it’s too late.
3. Symbol. In analyzing poetry, we must understand both the literal sense of the poem and the symbolic or suggested meaning of the poem. There will be further possible “hidden” meanings we all bring in different psychological backgrounds and associations. I catch a wide range association from the words used in this poem. For example:
a. The title “Trapped”, it can be associated that sometimes, we don’t realize that actually we are trapped in this world. Formerly, before we were born in this world, we live in a secure heaven. After that all of us are sent to this world for struggling our happiness later after we die. If we live irresponsible life we will get trouble in our life here in this world and later after we die.
b. “Well and” in the first line is a good start of our life, and then as we grown up followed by our busy time to pursuit happiness, and this is a “weary year”. That’s why we are trapped here to pursuit happiness, consequently we must sacrifice our times, energy, money etc.
c. “Well?” in the last line, is the result. It is a question, after we realize all we have done, is it good or not?
4. Title. This type of poetry was related to Japanese literary styles haiku and tanka. Although modeled after Eastern forms such as the haiku and tanka which are almost never titled, Crapsey titled all of her cinquains. Furthermore, her titles were not casual but usually functioned as active “sixth lines” which conveyed important meaning to the poem.
5. Repetition. This poem repeat some words many times to emphasize meaning. The word repeated in this poem are; ‘well’, ‘day’, ‘and’, ‘year’.
6. Ambiguity. This poem say something in an ambiguous way in order to challenge the reader. The poet wants the reader to have some difficulty determining what is meant. The words used in this poem suggest several meaning. For example; the word ‘day’ can be associated with time, or perhaps can be associated with activity.
7. Conventional. This poem can be categorized into conventional literary form since it is a kind of cinquain poem. It has become a convention that cinquain poem is unrhymed five lines poem with certain syllables.
8. Theme. This poem is about warning. This poem suggests us to be careful so that we are not trapped in trouble.
9. Point of view. From the writer’s point, it seems that the writer wants to say that we must discipline and manage the time well, so that we should finish our work on time. In other words, do not postpone our work until tomorrow if it can be finished as soon as possible. Moreover, from this poem, the writer also conveys the moral value. For example when we hurt some one else, we should ask apologize as we have opportunity to ask for immediately.
10.Messages. The messages of this poem are; this poem remind us that we are responsible to our own life, so that;
a. We should be careful in deciding to do something because each brings consequences.
b. We should be discipline so that we won’t get trouble.
c. We shouldn’t postpone when we will do the goodness.
11.Comment. The cinquain “trapped” is suitable for Junior High School students since it uses simple words but suggests in depth meaning. The cinquain poem is suitable for Junior High School in some conditions. Choose the simple cinquain to exemplify and give the simple format to guide them to create simple cinquain.
How to write cinquain poem:
a. Line 1: decide on one word title/2 syllables (noun)
b. Line 2: choose two words/4 syllables that describe your title (adjective).
c. Line 3: choose three words that tell you something that the title can do/6 syllables (verb-ing).
d. Line 4: choose a four word phrase that describes a feeling about your title/ 8 syllables.
e. Line 5: think of one word that refers back to your title/2 syllables (synonym).
Talking, caring, sharing
Taking and giving all at once
Analyzed by Jauharotus Sholihatin and Yeni Nurhayati Setyo Rahayu
Picture by Google