I’m tired of murdering children.
Once, long ago today, they wanted to live;
now I feel Vietnam the place
where rigor mortis is beginning to set-in upon me.

I force silence down the throats of mutes,
down the throats of mating-cries of animals who know they are extinct.
The chameleon’s death-soliloquy is your voice’s pulse;
your scorched forehead a constellation’s suicide-note.

A phonograph needle plunges through long black hair,
and stone drips slowly into our veins.
The earth has been squandered by the meek.
And upsidedown in the earth a dead man walks upon my soles when I walk

A baby is crying.
In the swaddling-pages
a baby.

‘Don’t cry. No Solomori’s-sword can
divide you from the sky.
You are one. Fly.’

I’m tired, so tired.
I have sleep to do.
I have work to dream.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Bill Knott's poem (End) of Summer (1966)

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