poem index


Bill Knott

1940-2014 , Carson City , MI , United States
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Bill Knott was born on February 17, 1940, in Carson City, Michigan. The author of over ten books of poetry and numerous self-published volumes, Knott received an MFA from Norwich University in Vermont and taught at Emerson College in Boston for many years. His first book, The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans (Chicago, Follett Pub. Co., 1968) was published under the pseudonym Saint Geraurd in 1968. In an interview with the online poetry journal Memorious, Knott spoke about the way in which he made his poems available to the public: "I started my blog to vanity-publish my poems, and to offer downloads of the vanity-book files, which heretofore I’ve been printing and distributing myself…From 1990 to the present, the booklets have been my routine. They’ve kept me going. If I had had to rely on real publishers to present my work, I might very well have stopped writing altogether." His honors include the Iowa Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Knott, who was living in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, died on March 12, 2014.

by this poet


Many decades after graduation
the students sneak back onto
the school-grounds at night
and within the pane-lit windows
catch me their teacher at the desk
or blackboard cradling a chalk:
someone has erased their youth,
and as they crouch closer to see
more it grows darker and

The way the world is not
Astonished at you
It doesn't blink a leaf
When we step from the house
Leads me to think
That beauty is natural, unremarkable
And not to be spoken of
Except in the course of things
The course of singing and worksharing
The course of squeezes and neighbors
The course of you tying back your