10/02/1944 - 03/l4/2022
Poet of Place
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
Knape was a poet. A singer of songs for the unsung, unnoticed, unvarnished
Years ago we received a letter about Woman Hollering Creek.
It was a very thoughtful letter, the kind we wish there were more
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
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
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
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
among my friends
and rest will come
as I pass away
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
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
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
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