elizabeth knapp

My Past Life as a Puritan
by Elizabeth Knapp

According to Wikipedia, I was possessed by the devil from late 1671 to early 1672, a 16-year-old servant in the house of a certain Samuel Willard, a prominent preacher in the town of Groton, Massachusetts, who recorded my possession using a methodical scientific approach highly unusual for the time. Willard, who became my “Gate Keeper,” detailed every moment of my 10-week sojourn with Satan, and later became active in the Salem Witch Trials, which he argued should be conducted in a “fair and legal way.” No one knows what happened to me after his journals end. (Some reports claim I turn up centuries later on a lark.)


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

elizabeth knapp Elizabeth Knapp is the author of The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Quarterly West, among others. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, where she lives with her family.

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