Three poems by Caroline Knox

Caroline Knox

Caroline Knox

Caroline Knox's seventh collection, Nine Worthies, will appear from Wave Books ( in September 2010. Her sixth, Quaker Guns (Wave 2008), received a Recommended Reading Award 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book. The term in the poem "Singing in Yoghurt" refers to the global pop-rock phenomenon of introducing foreign and perhaps not understood words into one's poetry and song (Henry Hitchings, The Secret Life of Words, Farrar Straus 2008, 337).

Year after Year

The mower releases a scent
of autumnal flat creeping thyme.
Not only thyme but salt, magical seasonings.
Among those present,
the fox's bark, the sound of owl's wings

Hence this set piece in ode mode with end rhyme,
but not standing on ceremony
beside flora that hurricanes volunteer
and granite outcroppings, a natural history,
hand over hand and year after year.




Singing in Yoghurt

Singing in yoghurt—chanter en yaourt
an ignocent pretends to get you through this:

oh, it's Pas de lieu Rhône connu-
it's Paddle your own canoe.
Pas de lieu Rhône connu?
Noplace known in Rhône? WHAT?

"There was a hypoon, and the ship went underboard."
You need an ignocent.
Yoghurt on the macaroni.
Or macaroni on the yoghurt.





Kevin, it wasn't a man, it was me,
or maybe it was my aunt, who wore a green suede skirt;
whoever it was, you didn't get a breadfruit—
it was goulash, all paprika and fire.
The donor didn't know when you'd eat;
you were completely grateful and reliable.
But your name wasn't Kevin, it was Dirk,
and as you left you said,
“When Calvin was born, Chaucer had only been dead for 109 years.”