ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Poems & Poetry

Please Knock (Harvard University, 1974)

Updated on August 10, 2011

Sign put on office door

Note: On Sunday, April 28, 1974, Max Havlick wrote the poem “Please Knock” to post Monday morning on his office door in Pierce Hall, Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Division of Engineering, Harvard University, not to restrict his boss Atmospheric Sciences Prof. Michael McElroy (who at all times showed consummate respect), but for some of the post-docs who apparently thought the main duty of a Harvard staff secretary was to be interrupted without warning . . . by post-docs.

Please Knock

If necessary, please knock,
but don’t knock it,
because I’m in here knocking myself out,
and making you knock is one way of impeding you
from impeding my knocking,
and I’ve been knocking around long enough to know
that it’s better to make you knock
than have my own knocking indiscriminately extended
beyond the time when I can knock off,
knock myself out to get home,
and then knock myself out in family activities
so I can feel better about knocking back in here tomorrow
to knock myself out all over again.
So knock it off!

Max Havlick
Harvard University
April 28, 1974

Copyright © June 2011 by Max J. Havlick, The Max Havlick School of Personal Creation and World Citizenship, a project of New World Community Enterprises, Inc., 16 West Vermont St., Villa Park, IL 60181-1938, all rights reserved. Permission granted to make exact copies of this page that include the introduction and this copyright notice.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      So true of anyone working in academia. It is about 150 hour a week job and students are rather needy. I know I had grauate and undergrates and they were needy. But office hours are requied of all professors so I kept them even when i wasn't given more than a broom closet as an office.

      I don't know if you were as much standing up as you were standing down and setting limits but it is a cute poem.


    • Max Havlick profile image

      Max Havlick 6 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      Actually, FitnezzJim, no such jokes that I recall. The place was preoccupied by amazement that a staff person with no more than an M.A. in history would stand up to the post-doctoral academic establishment types living off Prof. McElroy's various grants for research in atmospheric science. Thanks for noticing this little bit of my past. I'll check out your hubs.

    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Curious, how many knock-knock jokes did you find tacked to your door in reply?