Review #5: ‘Never Lend Your Umbrella to a Submarine and Other Poems for Young Readers’ by Bill Knott
Read Timothy Liu’s preamble to his ‘100 Reviews in 100 Days.’
This is not Bill Knott’s best self-published book, but I love it all the same because it is the last one that he mailed me (over the past two decades, Bill Knott has sent me over two dozen of his self-published gems, many a card-cover stock saddle stapled and scribbled in crayon, others perfect-bound by lulu.com and other undisclosed agents, and the thing is this, he reshuffled his entire oeuvre over and over in the last two decades of his life, and were it left to me, I could easily assemble sixty of my all-time favorite poems into a five-star Selected), so with his passing, and the deafening media silence (no official obits in the first dead days beyond a posting in this very zine!) (leaving me to wonder if Bill Knott is indeed dead of complications from surgery as verified by his colleagues at Emerson College or if in fact this is just another self-inflicted hoax mediated by social-network channels, our ole St. Geraud up to the same ole trick that launched his career over four decades back!), I also want to say that Bill Knott is/was THE anti-establishment maverick of our pussy po-biz times, yes!, full of self-sabotage and self-loathing, but all of it tempered with sublime self-humor and homo-ludensic play that would send us all back to the collective sandbox called childhood where not only his corpse (and beans!) but sundry stray feline poops still lie buried for us to excavate, resuscitate, masticate.
Disclosures: Sad to say that to this day, I never met my hero face to face, only on the page.
Favorites: “The Daily Rounds”; “Minor Poem”; “En Passant”; “My Favorite Word.”