A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 7,000 archived posts.
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.
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. )
Thanks, Laure-Anne. I never met him, but he was a remarkably original and imaginative poet.