By Bill Knott 1940–2014 Bill Knott
The wooden horses
are tired of their courses

and plead from head to hoof
to be fed to a stove—

In leaping lunging flames
they’d rise again, flared manes

snapping like chains behind them.
The smoke would not blind them

as do these children’s hands:
beyond our cruel commands

the fire will free them then
as once the artisan when

out of the tree they
were nagged to this neigh.

Bill Knott, “Merry-No-Round” from Poetry 183 (March 2004): 330, 332. Copyright © 2004 by . Reprinted with the permission of .

Source: Poetry (March 2004).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

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March 2004
 Bill  Knott


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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