Five Poems To Better Understand Our World

Five Poems To Better Understand Our World



Dr. Gregory Knapp is a three-time Fulbright Fellowship recipient and a specialist in Geography with a minor in Anthropology. Prior to teaching at UT, Dr. Knapp attended the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin and taught at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Dr. Knapp has studied prehistoric and traditional agriculture in Peru and Ecuador, as well as prehistoric landscapes and demography. Knapp is also curious about regional identities, with regards to ethnic territoriality and mapping, the role of modernization in historical cultural ecology,and the history of geographic thought. Dr. Knapp’s interests are beautifully diverse, making him one of UT’s modern Renaissance men.

For his collection, “Five Poems,” Knapp drew inspiration from nature and his experiences. “I was inspired to start writing by reading nature poetry, especially classical Chinese and Japanese poetry and the San Francisco school (Rexroth, Snyder),” said Knapp. “Many of my poems are inspired by experiences in particular places or attempts to reconcile diverse phenomena.  Writing is a way of clarifying stances and values that may not be clear when the brain is not in creative mode.”

Five Poems

Gregory Knapp



Phoebe’s surface speaks

About nature in

A body with strife, pocked

With blows from far away

Bright ice shows

The undersurface to

Science,  and

Provides sparkling hints

That all is not lost

All not forgotten

When after billions of years

Some neighboring world shows curiosity



round of ours –

soft earth of all ways

ahead –

bring up the stone in us,

heart: hid in

the mountain, seed, wavy

sea beneath us,

lady, eyelash, arm,

heart, stone,

globe: taste




In wine

In wine, in flesh,

After fog, the figures form,

But does it matter,

Face or name,

Number or fact,

Map or direction,

In this sensual calm?

The animal’s fall, the silent well,

The forest of a thousand miles,

Your eyes, the infant’s glint of milk

All in mind with no enlacing will,

Like a waking at night to flesh and thirst.



Earth, our victim, is

Here. She is clothed with the sun.

In her lap a baby is playing.



down by the the dock

there’s some water

out by my fingers

some air

beyond the stars

the brainpan’s inner wall

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