I read an interview he did a few months ago that has been haunting me where, when asked what he thought his poetic influence would be, his answer was– “You gotta be kidding. The answer is none, no one in their right mind will read my work. I’ll be forgotten and gone.” (memorius.org)
Knott’s poems have been important to me for years so I felt compelled to start a blog called poetrycrush.com just so I could say so. I will probably spend the rest of my life (although according to Knott, I am not in my right mind) trying to figure out how to write a poem as simultaneously disciplined and alive as Bill Knott’s To The Emblematic Hourglass of My Father’s Skull. I don’t know who out there is writing better lines.
Dear Bill, I like you…
J. Hope Stein
TO THE EMBLEMATIC HOURGLASS OF MY FATHER’S SKULL
by Bill Knott
The night that dies in me each day is yours:
Hour whose way I stare, yearning to terra
Firma my eye. There. Where a single hair
Would be a theater curtain I could cling
Behind, dreading my cue, aching to hear
What co-hurrah. More, more of leaves that fall
Consummate capsules, having annaled all
Their veins said! Printout printemps. And yet
(Altars our blood writes a blurb for god on)
Can one ever envy enough his skeleton’s
Celebrity. Can any epitaph
Be adequate repartee for your laugh.
Days lived by me each night say less than it.
While sleep in ounces weighs me wanting.