Two Poems by Julia Caroline Knowlton

November Song

Praise gray skies, wet yellow
leaves fall to red edge. I wonder

why dark winter moves voices
to fear every day, every night

of the dead. How hard we try
to cover fear with wrong things—

hot meat gravy, a fat gold watch,
words of wool, light cheer.

November song, empty me out
to cloth without paint, barest

branches, a cup without wine.
Move me to snow on evergreen pine.

*

Meditation in Winter

I draw an angel halo on paper,
believing only in paper

not the gold shape itself.
I light candles with a red-hot match.

I sing a bitter song or sweet,
peel apples into butter and taste the past.

I write faint words, wash a dish.
Enter crying darkness coming at last.

*

Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and incoming President of the Georgia Poetry Society. She has an MFA in poetry from Antioch University and a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill. The author of four books and an Academy of American Poets prize winner, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year for her 2018 chapbook, The Café of Unintelligible Desire (Alice Greene & Co.). Her second chapbook, Poem at the Edge of the World, will be published by Alice Greene & Co. in 2022. Julia regularly publishes in journals including One Art, Roanoke Review, and Boston Literary Review.

One Poem by Julia Caroline Knowlton

Self-Portrait with Loss of Appetite

 

The crux of it is, who does not want to glide

through space, light—to enter like a dancer,

exit like a gold autumn leaf, float away?

 

Winter hunger always roving in my mind.

Hidden brush strokes, silver on snow falling.

This angel bone haunting, an absence I must find.

 

*

 

Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. She has an MFA in poetry from Antioch University and a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill. The author of four books and an Academy of American Poets prize winner, she was named a GA Author of the Year for her 2018 chapbook, The Café of Unintelligible Desire (Alice Greene & Co.). Her second chapbook, Poem at the Edge of the World, will also be published by Alice Greene & Co. Julia regularly publishes in journals including One Art, Roanoke Review, and Boston Literary Review.

Moon by Julia Caroline Knowlton

Moon

Enough already about it, a poetry professor

once said. There is no room for the moon

in poems anymore. The idea being it has

all been done before. Undeniably true.

I tried the advice, writing about waves, ill fate,

petals like bells, eyes & lies, secrets to confess—

all other things that have fully been said.

Then last night, early spring, getting late,

trees black & still bare, you held me hard

in your arms. We were one, lit by it, entirely unknown—

full pearl button, huge sequin sewn in night’s lace dress.

*

Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, where she has taught for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University. The author of four books, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2018. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has recently appeared in literary journals such as Boston Literary Magazine and Raw Art Review. You can find her on Facebook. 

January Ars Poetica by Julia Caroline Knowlton

January Ars Poetica

        (for L.L. Knowlton)

Awake, more knotted dreams in my hands. 

It stays dark past dawn. Where have you gone?

With what spoken bone will you return?

Now I see: dust tossed in a lake became voice.

*

Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, where she has taught for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University. The author of four books, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2018. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has recently appeared in literary journals such as Boston Literary Magazine and Raw Art Review. You can find her on Facebook.

Two Poems by Julia Caroline Knowlton

Liberté

A canvas wet with paint,
     a bow singing strings.

Every time our bodies join
     in union, sky away.

Ocean waves silver,
     say what they don’t say.

 

Memorial Service

End of summer, Michigan. Silver ash flight,
going home to nothing in his favorite lake.

A final wave goodbye caught in wind and light,
then into water down. I touched my own end,

dry & chalky. It was my father, leaving time
forever, a vanishing act. No holy notions,

just bone dust in memory that does not fade.
Wildflowers strewn on water while his jazz played.

 

 

Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, where she has taught for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University. The author of four books, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2018. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has recently appeared in literary journals such as Boston Literary Magazine and Raw Art Review. You can find her on Facebook.