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Poet of Place

10/02/1944 - 03/l4/2022

David Gerald Knape
David Gerald Knape

David Gerald Knape Obituary

David Gerald Knape, 10/02/1944 to 03/l4/2022, was born in San Antonio, Texas, Bexar County, at Santa Rosa Hospital, son of Victor and Henrietta Knape. He was employed by Nabisco as a salesman and manager for over 30 years. You could always find David working in his garden, nurturing his many plants. He was also a prolific poet, composing words that captured the charm of life's daily routines. David was known as a man of principle, sensitivity, warmth and humor, often entertaining strangers with an unexpected joke. David was a wonderful husband, married 52 years, a loving father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Paula Knape, daughters Karin, Kimberly and son, Karl, as well as his son-in-law, Steve Reed, and grandsons, Landon and Ethan Reed, and his sister, Barbara Singleton. Funeral and graveside services were held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and adjoining cemetery, Ammannsville, Texas, on March 19th.

Poet of Place

David Knape was a poet. A singer of songs for the unsung, unnoticed, unvarnished and under-appreciated.

Years ago we received a letter about Woman Hollering Creek. It was a very thoughtful letter, the kind we wish there were more of.

The writer was David and we soon discovered that we shared a love of the forlorn and forgotten - although David had a grassroots connection that we lacked. As it turned out, we were living in the county of David's boyhood.

He included a poem with his next letter, which was the first of what would be nearly a thousand over the next ten years.

He was as generous as he was prolific and he became our de facto poet laureate.

A letter from Dave might have you thinking in verse for the rest of the afternoon or wondering how he could see virtues of some overlooked thing. What was he seeing that you weren't?

Like the words of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who wrote of "the rebirth of wonder," Dave's sense of wonder didn't need rebirthing. He had kept his from childhood - and nourished it.

But David belonged to a bigger tribe than his kin in Fayette County - he belonged to the Tribe of Poets. He was born in a very practical perhaps less romantic) era, but he recognized the beauty of the land, saw the good in the people, and shared it - with a generous sprinkling of whimsy and wit.

David knew well the texture of weathered wood and might dash off "ode to a splinter" or write of the ripples of wind over the tall grass. He also wrote "Ghost Rainbow" and included a photo of where a rainbow had recently been - as if the sky had been slow to fill in the space. There was no telling what might inspire Dave. It could've been a fanciful or boastful name for a town that never made it - or some heartfelt concern for the environment.

He certainly covered avian subjects - from Caracaras to Owls and Mockingbirds. He might also write about "Goldfish in Heaven" or "Bugs Under Rocks." (He left no stone unturned.)

On occasion his verse might turn introspective (What Poets are For) or "Yard Man" - a sympathetic poem about his sweaty, tired and underpaid self.

Although he moved away, he never lost his connection to Fayette County and visited as often as he could. We couldn't pass Ammannsville without thinking of David.

It's very right and proper that he will be laid to rest in Ammannsville within sight of the old KJT hall - the subject of his first submitted poem.

In Emily Dickenson's famous poem I Died for Beauty, she wrote of conversing with a kindred spirit who had" died for truth."

It is our hope that David's spirit can converse with old friends as they watch together the seasons change - over rippling grass and within sight of the steeples of painted churches.

John and Kate Troesser
Texas Escapes Online Magazine

Don't Keep My Grave

by David Knape

Don't keep my grave
just let it go
if weeds emerge
just let them grow

when trees grow up
please let them be
don't cut away

a natural state
then I'll be in
entirely pleased
among my friends

and rest will come
so peacefully
as I pass away
quite naturally.

October 1, 2012

Remembering Dave Knape

In addition to being cousins, Dave and I were kindred spirits with many commonalities, but just enough differences to make our conversations interesting. Every day, I looked forward to his emails that included either a poem, parody, short story, pun, witticism, interesting facts or opinions on current events or politics. If I didn't answer in a timely fashion, he would reach out to ask if I was okay. He was just that kind of guy - very caring and giving.

Dave had an extraordinary vocabulary, a very creative imagination and incredible observation skills, all of which were evident in his poems, some of which were poignant with others being witty or analytical expressions of the simple things in life. His wit entertained those of us who were fortunate enough to be in his email circle - getting his emails was an addictive boost to our endorphins.

He was the self-ordained "poet laureate" of Ammannsville, Texas and the "editor-in-chief" of the fictitious Ammannsville Times with issues located in a container outside of the local beer joint - all in jest of course. His colorful stories about Ammannsville would initiate humorous responses from his cousins that only added to the ridiculousness of the stories. Those emails were the glue that kept his circle of relatives connected. Hopefully, that bond won't be broken by his passing.

Dave loved his German and Czech heritage, especially his roots in Fayette County. His maternal great-grandparents not only lived near Ammannsville, but joined two other families to donate the land for the original Ammannsville Catholic Church and adjoining cemetery that is the final resting place for his ancestors and his parents. He now rests among them in that peaceful place that he often wrote about. His family and friends were blessed to be the recipients of his prolific literary gifts that will always be a reminder of the treasure he was to all of us. He will never be forgotten! - Carolyn Heinsohn, March 23, 2022

I also read some of his poems - what a range!! One that really spoke to me was "I am the Ghost of Ammansville." It very much reflected my interest in, and my feelings upon arrival in, the many dead or dying towns around the state - including Ammannsville. So many times all that remains is a cemetery, and maybe a church. Ammannsville has a little more than that left, fortunately. Thanks for that eulogy to an undoubtedly intriguing man. - John J. Germann, March 24, 2022

Thank you so much for your beautiful, apropos tribute to Texas poet David Knape. He shared his daily poems with me and others. He will be greatly missed by the poetry community, including the Poetry Society of Texas. I have enjoyed your website for many years. Most sincerely, Kathryn L (Kat) Copeland, Midland, TX. Permian Basin Poetry Society, March 22, 2022


"Once Upon A Line" - light verse and poetry by d.knape »

David Knape's Homage to Ammannsville »

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