Any person's death ends a universe of memories, associations, language, emotions, feelings, laughter, etc. When a poet dies, the same climate of experiences disappears. Yet, the created work remains.
Bill Knott died this week. He was one of those special American poets with an idiosyncratic sensibility, an ability with words that made the reader look twice and wonder how it was done. as if he were a magician performing a wonderful trick.
When a poet dies, America and the world lose a witness, a prophet, a comedian, a musician, a storyteller, a keeper of the collective memory. This is considered less and less of a great loss. Bill Knott's poems meant a lot, even if few will recognize his name.