The Golden Age

By Bill Knott 1940–2014 Bill Knott
is thought to be a confession, won by endless
torture, but which our interrogators must
hate to record—all those old code names, dates,
the standard narrative of sandpaper
throats, even its remorse, fall ignored. Far

away, a late (not lost) messenger stares,
struck by window bargains or is it the gift
of a sudden solicitude: is she going to
lift up her shadow’s weight, shift hers
onto it? She knows who bears whom. In

that momentary museum where memory occurs
more accrue of those torturers’ pincers than
lessened fingernails, eyes teased to a pulp,
we beg for closeups. Ormolus, objets d’art!
A satyr drains an hourglass with one gulp.

Bill Knott, "The Golden Age" from Outremer, published by University of Iowa Press.  Copyright 1989 by Bill Knott.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Outremer (1989)

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Poet Bill Knott 1940–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

 Bill  Knott

Biography

Bill Knott’s poetry collections include The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans (1968), Becos (1983), Outremer, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize (1988), Laugh at the End of the World: Collected Comic Poems 1969–1999 (2000), The Unsubscriber (2004), and Stigmata Errata Etcetera (2007), a collaboration with collages by the artist Star Black. Knott published The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans under the pseudonym . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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