Poems, 1963-1988

Bill Knott, Author
Bill Knott, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8229-5416-3
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
In this markedly original collection, a variety of themes remains constant--the pleasures and difficulties of love, the struggle for empathy with others--all seen through a distinctly elegiac eye. At the same time that he bows to the probability of loss, Knott's ( Becos ) primary concern is emotional engagement. With puissance, he urges the acceptance of the world as a fractured reality in which value is determined by individual perception: ``The way the world is not / Astonished at you / . . . Leads me to think / That beauty is natural, unremarkable, / And not to be spoken of / Except in the course of things /. . . And the course of course of me / Astonished at you / The way the world is not.'' Juxtaposed with poems of conventional lengths are various ``Shorts/Excerpts''--series of succinct but memorable sentences: ``Our farewells lack the plausibility of our departures.'' The consequent syncopation in the volume ultimately serves to emphasize the moments of clarity throughout. (June)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!