Here at the height of the day night change
The color of the sky is uncertain,
The sky depending in which direction
One’s eye strains, each of its swatches a strange

Hue which dies too soon and which makes this hour
Linger in the mind transient as a life,
Whose names once known remain another
Posied-up portrait on our palette knife.

Until even I wonder if one tint
Ever survives the harm of seeming unique
(Evening’s intrigue, time’s singularity.)

Study for its trace, its placemap, I see
–Redundant as a stopsign in italic–
The face on which my profile leaves no print.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Bill Knott's poem Compact Dusk

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