The Course Of Course

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As redundant information, my email gets a daily poem from  It’s not the first or last time this website/database will be referenced.  Yesterday, a game of catch-up helped free up space in my inbox.  A lot of the poems are lovely.  Many are long.  Some are only a couple lines (and my professor at college got on my case about a couple of my poems being two lines).  Many are not understood.  Some are not up to par with Whitman or Dickinson.  Some poems could be up to par with the two poets.  Some poems are actually by the two poets.

That’s Art, however, and the beauty of It.

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The poem that caught my eye(s) and mind:  “Sonnet” by Bill Knott


The way the world is not
Astonished at you
It doesn’t blink a leaf
When we step from the house
Leads me to think
That beauty is natural, unremarkable
And not to be spoken of
Except in the course of things
The course of singing and worksharing
The course of squeezes and neighbors
The course of you tying back your raving hair to go out
And the course of course of me
Astonished at you
The way the world is not


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After the poem in these emails, a brief description of the poem that could include the author’s insight as to why or how the piece was written.  Following that description is usually a short biography of the author.  However, there was no description of the poem, who is was for and why.  However, in the bio blurb, it states that Knott died on March 12th of this year.

My birthday.

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This is why this post is being written:  the initial adoration of the poem, the poem itself, and the fact that its author passed away on my birthday.

(And there is the numbers thing again… Coincidence?)

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“And the course of course of me
Astonished of you
The way the world is not”

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Those three lines, the last three (for some reason), stand out the most.  They are poignant as an ending.  The narrator of the poem is appreciating the love of their life.  The lines are generic statements, and some may feel there is no romance in this.  The specifics, however, are definitely non-specific.

The lover acknowledging the course of the speaker’s adoration.

Anyone can relate, and that could be purposeful as much as it is the point.

The narrator’s astonished of the love in ways the world cannot see, in ways that our vague orator can only explain… ways this person can explain by saying the thoughts cannot be elaborated.  There is no intention or hope for the world to understand the narrator.  The world is simply eavesdropping on this person’s thoughts (or actual words).

Telling the person you love how you care does not necessarily be spouting an ode or love poem.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning (to use her as an example) wrote “How Do I Love Thee?”  Instead of actually counting the ways, the narrator (it’s not necessarily the author speaking) states they love the person they are speaking about/to with several I-love-thee lines.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character does the same thing, night-and-day versions, of the same simplicity to Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer.

Flowery imagery, allusions, and metaphors (to say the least) are not necessary when it’s personal.

There is also enjoyment on my end to read the first two lines as the last two lines, their order flipped.

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It’s spring, everyone.

Cue the fever.

Let’s all tidy up.

Speak up.  Write.  Dance.

Fall in love.

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It’s patience, that sound of a pen tapping upon a table.

8 thoughts on “The Course Of Course

  1. I know this is not a romantic love, but I am sometimes amazed that people don’t stop in their tracks when they see my sister. She is the most important person in the world to me. I feel like my love for her should mark her in some way that is apparent to everyone else. But it doesn’t. She is just another stranger walking by them.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I wish some people were more perceptive. We, in general, take a lot of things for granted, and we don’t pay attention to small details. The most general, simplistic characteristics/aspects can be the most important ones.

    1. Why, thank you. Glad to hear from you, and I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Luckily, the post and blog are not going anywhere. You’ll have forever and a day to catch up. Hope your week went well, and hope your weekend is a fun one.

  2. I can picture him worshiping he sight of her tying back her raving hair.

    Wonderful Knott.

    Sorry about the circumstance of your birth and his death on the same day, though, Chris.

    1. The little things. That knowledge felt strange when reading it. Of the 20-odd poems had to caught up with this one definitely caught my eye. To read that it’s writer passed away was also strange. I seemingly felt connected in a sense.

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