Caroline Knapp

from The Hunters Enter the Wood

The Hunters Enter the Wood

A long beginning underway. Each
strand and devise has anterior
knots. We enter the picture
as if there were a
way through as if there

were a picture. A certain
false insistence pleases us. We
cite a quality of rhyme
in sheen and run our
hands along the passageways. Shadow

shuttles color pieces. The seen
shifts in its sleep. A
bird may flit between stories.
Some mornings it is enough
to say may. By night

we grow morose. One calls
in fretted threads over a
cupped gap. Single single. The
hollow hull of may slapping
wind-raised waves. If

a hunter stands and hears
only shuttle sounds from the
high branches and wind in
swayed cords this too is
the work of the wood.

The Hunters Enter the Wood (Detail)

The space that opens
behind the flowers is
the field. The hunters
wade into the text
and vanish. A night-journey.

In the invisible that
shows like stars, wool
and crewel as make
its lack of appearance
its resource. A tremble

in the darker ground.
A well, a ditch,
the margins a blind
conduit I fell into
following with spears and

thread lives in hiding.
In rupture, detour. Back
of the text a
silver aquifer silent in
moon light every delved

flower is a syllable.
The plumed cap, the
chased velvet frond. The
dew quivers the dog
lays back its ears.

The Hunters

Count the seed heads threaded
on pith of song. Woodpecker’s
hollow joint one one. I
wake at dawn have lost
the nubbed loop the count.

What one is is too
much to know. A head
turned in sleep. I measure
allowance again, rich hem. There’s
a ditch beside song where

quiet gathers. The under story.
Brush descant traveling the distances.
When shall I cease to
rove. Roam. Rive. Each edged
leap sets a light in

selvage. The grasses are embellished.
Scalloped heads of ferns. Fog
accomplishes the margins. One. One.
In silence some salvage,
a fixed and savage song.

from Tanzsprachen



navigation by lineaments

cast on

least traced air a sign


of sound by whose


a bee’s black shadow

inks the page


*                      *




I wished then to find you

a coat against cold winds. speech is


a sign that everywhere is and is

not sufficient.


the bell’s note makes

an inside an outside.


it speaks through partials

a singing whole and insufficient.


a net.

all this thinking through want.


I was afraid you would look

and find me gone.


I do a willing that

like despair is lost track of.


a bell may be struck from the outside by a hammer

or chimed from the inside by a tongue.


it vibrates across its whole length.


*                        *




on the combed page                        honey advances

lines that tell the

sun of                        the eye

cast of sky                        at which she looks

turning around

after they have returned home they also dance


*                        *

Caroline Knapp is the author of Facture (2015), The Hunters Enter the Wood (forthcoming 2018), and Tanzsprachen (forthcoming 2018), all chapbooks in the Little Red Leaves Textile Series. Her poems have appeared in Jubilat, CutBank, Verse Daily,, and Opon. She lives in Oakland.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.