Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ted kooser, nebraska's poet laureate

At the end of last month my mom emailed me a link to an NPR story she read about Ted Kooser, the poet laureate of Nebraska. She told me it caught her eye because Kooser is from the same area as some of our family on her father's mother's side. I've been meaning to check out the link but I like to have plenty of time when I'm going to read poetry so that I don't feel rushed to absorb it, and life hasn't been too mellow over the last couple of weeks.

Finally today, I had some time and was amply rewarded with Kooser's lovely language and vibrant imagery. It was inspiring to read that during the thirty-five years he worked in insurance, he made the time to get up early in the morning to write poetry like this:


Slap of the screen door, flat knock
of my grandmother's boxy black shoes
on the wooden stoop, the hush and sweep
of her knob-kneed, cotton-aproned stride
out to the edge and then, toed in
with a furious twist and heave,
a bridge that leaps from her hot red hands
and hangs there shining for fifty years
over the mystified chickens,
over the swaying nettles, the ragweed,
the clay slope down to the creek,
over the redwing blackbirds in the tops
of the willows, a glorious rainbow
with an empty dishpan swinging at one end.

From Delights & Shadows, by Ted Kooser, published by Copper Canyon Press, 2004.

1 comment:

aubrey said...

that was beautiful. i could see it clearly in my mind. thanks for sharing, katie!