Vox Populi

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Bill Knott: A Sudden Departure


A sudden raisinstorm broke
Raisins falling everywhere pellmell.
The occasion uniqued my head, I thought
If this can happen raisins raining
Upon persons paining why I can leave anytime
Without feeling shame

But all the same,
Before taking off some vestigial guilt or other,
Made me at least get up
Before some public gathering or other
A departing oration:

Druthers, I am going now.
Druthers, I tried to love you
Though you always made me choose
Between you, and you, and you. Oh my Druthers,

Goodbye, I have my reasons.
Did he say RAISINS?
No: reasons.
Oh; I just wondered,
What with the weather and all.

From I am Flying into Myself: Selected Poems 1960-2014 (FSG, 2017), compiled by Thomas Lux. This poem is included in Vox Populi for educational purposes only.

Bill Knott (1940-2014) was a American surrealist poet who taught at Emerson College for more than 25 years. His work has been admired by many poets including James Wright who called Knott “an unmistakable genius.” An appreciation of Knott written by John Cotter, along with a generous selection of Knott’s poems can be found at this link.

2 comments on “Bill Knott: A Sudden Departure

  1. loranneke
    July 12, 2022

    I loved Bill — that quirky, odd but deeply human man. And poet. A poet’s poet, they say. Tom (Lux), Kurt and I spent lovely times with him. He knew more about poetry than anyone we’d ever met! At Emerson College he has a corner office with two windows. Except no one knew this because all the walls in his office had stacks of books & boxes & files & paper going up to the ceiling!!! The exterior of his door was plastered with rejection slips and letters… (My office at Emerson College –I taught there for a year– was next to his. )


    • Vox Populi
      July 12, 2022

      Thanks, Laure-Anne. I never met him, but he was a remarkably original and imaginative poet.



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This entry was posted on July 12, 2022 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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