When we first moved to our little island, my two youngest children made themselves quite comfortable at Mike and Carol's next door, and at that time PK was still managing to get up for visits at the beach. So the first time I was introduced to her, after a reading honouring her 80th birthday, she knew me as their mother and as the owner of their companion, an old-yet-still-rather-unruly Golden Retriever. Funny, I've heard Carol speak of her so many times, and I've taught her wonderful poetry often, but that meeting when she recognized me as Megan and Zach's mom is probably what will always surface when I see her image or hear her name -- memory's funny like that, isn't it?
Anyway, I'm teaching a course on the Elegy (as a genre) right now, and learning that such an illustrious poet had died, began looking through my two-volume collection of Page's work, The Hidden Room to find an Elegy to bring into Monday's class. I found what I was looking for, but I also found this little treasure, which I'd somehow not noticed before, a poem that really spoke to me as a knitter, and which reminded me of how beautifully and meaningfully P.K. Page could make the domestic, the everyday, shimmer (EDITED to qualify that I wouldn't characterize Page's poems, generally, as dealing with the domestic and the quotidian; just that when she does make those her focus, there is at once a close observation and an often-brilliant transcendence). Here it is:
Unknit me --
all those blistering strange small intricate stitches --
shell stitch, moss stitch, pearl and all too plain;
unknit me to the very first row of ribbing,
let only the original simple knot remain.
Then let us start again.