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Stories written by Ted Kooser

95 stories found. Showing page 1 of 4.

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 9/26/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

A number of American poets are adept at describing places and the people who inhabit them. Galway Kinnellís great poem, "The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World" is one of those masterpieces, and there are many others. Here Anne Pierson Wiese, winner of the Walt Whitman...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 9/19/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

By Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 North Carolina poet, Betty Adcock, has written scores of beautiful poems, almost all of them too long for this space. Here is an example of her shorter work, the telling description of a run-down border town.   Louisiana Line The wooden sce...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 9/12/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Our poet this week is 16-year-old Devon Regina DeSalva of Los Angeles, California, who says she wrote this poem to get back at her mother, only to find that her mother loved the poem. Snip Your Hair Iíll snip your hair Cut it all off until you look like a man I will replace your weight lo...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 8/22/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

The American poet Ezra Pound once described the faces of people in a rail station as petals on a wet black bough. That was roughly 75 years ago. Here Barry Goldensohn of New York offers a look at a contemporary subway station. Not petals, but people all the same. Subway The station platform, c...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 8/15/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 Here is a lovely poem about survival by Patrick Phillips of New York. People sometimes ask me "What are poems for?" and "Matinee" is an example of the kind of writing that serves its readers, that shows us a way of carrying on. M...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 8/1/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

The chances are very good that you are within a thousand yards of a man with a comb-over, and he may even be somewhere in your house. Here's Maine poet, Wesley McNair, with his commentary on these valorous attempts to disguise hair loss.  Hymn to the Comb-Over How the thickest of them...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 6/27/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

The subdivision; it's all around us. Here Nancy Botkin of Indiana presents a telling picture of life in such a neighborhood, the parents downstairs in their stultifying dailiness, the children enjoying their youth under the eaves before the passing years force them to join the adults.   Geome...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 5/23/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Not only do we have road rage, but it seems we have road love too. Here Elizabeth Hobbs of Maine offers us a two-car courtship. Be careful with whom you choose to try this little dance.  Slow Dancing on the Highway: the Trip North You follow close behind me, for a thousand miles responsi...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 5/9/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

I've talked a lot in this column about poetry as celebration, about the way in which a poem can make an ordinary experience seem quite special. Here's the celebration of a moment on a campus somewhere, anywhere. The poet is Juliana Gray, who lives in New York. I especially like the litt...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 5/2/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 One big test of the endurance of any relationship is taking on a joint improvement project. Here Sue Ellen Thompson offers an account of one such trial by fire. Wallpapering My parents argued over wallpaper. Would stripes...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 4/25/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 Houdini never gets far from the news. There's always a movie coming out, or a book, and every other magician has to face comparison to the legendary master. Here the California poet, Kay Ryan, encapsulates the man and says so...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 4/18/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 Naomi Shihab Nye is one of my favorite poets. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and travels widely, an ambassador for poetry. Here she captures a lovely moment from her childhood. Supple Cord My brother, in his small white...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 4/11/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry By Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 By describing the relocation of the moles which ravaged her yard, Washington poet Judith Kitchen presents an experience that resonates beyond the simple details, and suggests that children can learn important lessons through ...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 4/4/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry By Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-2006 I've talked often in this column about how poetry can hold a mirror up to life, and I'm especially fond of poems that hold those mirrors up to our most ordinary activities, showing them at their best and brightest. Here Ruth...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 3/28/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 At some time many of us will have to make a last visit to a house where aged parents lived out their days. Here Marge Saiser beautifully compresses one such farewell.   Where They Lived One last time I unlock the house where they lived ...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 3/21/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

One of the ways a poet makes art from his or her experience is through the use of unique, specific and particular detail. This poem by Rick Snyder thrives on such details. It's not just baseball caps, it's Tasmanian Devil caps; it's not just music on the intercom, it's James Taylor. And Snyder's...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 3/14/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate Those of us who have hunted morel mushrooms in the early spring have hunted indeed! The morel is among natureís most elusive species. Here Jane Whitledge of Minnesota captures the morelís mysterious ways. Morel Mushrooms Softly they...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 3/7/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Those big cherry-flavored wax lips that my friends and I used to buy when I was a boy, well, how could I resist this poem by Cynthia Rylant of Oregon? Wax Lips Todd's Hardware was dust and a monkey — a real one, on the second floor — and Mrs. Todd there behind the glass cases. We st...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 2/21/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

My maternal grandparents got their drinking water from a well in the yard, and my disabled uncle carried it sloshing to the house, one bucket of hard red water early every morning. I couldn't resist sharing this lovely little poem by Minnesota poet Sharon Chmielarz. New Water All those years &...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry: A poetic thanatopsis

By Ted Kooser

Published: 1/31/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Grief can endure a long, long time. A deep loss is very reluctant to let us set it aside, to push it into a corner of memory. Here the Arkansas poet, Andrea Hollander Budy, gives us a look at one familyís adjustment to a death.   For Weeks After the Funeral The house felt like the opera,...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 1/24/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Literature, and in this instance, poetry, holds a mirror to life; thus the great themes of life become the great themes of poems. Here the distinguished American poet John Haines addresses — and celebrates through the affirmation of poetry — our preoccupation with aging and mortality. ...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 1/17/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

While many of the poems we feature in this column are written in open forms, that's not to say I don't respect good writing done in traditional meter and rhyme. But a number of contemporary poets, knowing how a rigid attachment to form can take charge of the writing and drag the poet along behin...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 1/10/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Newborns begin life as natural poets, loving the sound of their own gurgles and coos. And, with the encouragement of parents and teachers, children can continue to write and enjoy poetry into their high school years and beyond. A group of elementary students in Detroit, Michigan, wrote poetry on the...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 1/3/2007

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Home is where the heart ... Well, surely we all know that old saying. But it's the particulars of a home that make it ours. Here the poet Linda Parsons Marion, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., celebrates familiarity, in its detail and its richness. Home Fire Whether on the boulevard or gravel...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 12/27/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

How many of us, when passing through some small town, have felt that it seemed familiar though we've never been there before. And of course it seems familiar because much of the course of life is pretty much the same wherever we go, right down to the up-and-down fortunes of the football team ...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 12/13/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Artbar American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser Loss can defeat us or serve as the impetus for positive change. Here, Sue Ellen Thompson of Connecticut shows us how to mourn inevitable changes, then go on to see the possibilities of new chapters in our lives. No Children, No Pets I bring the c...[MORE]

Art Bar

By Ted Kooser

Published: 12/6/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

This wistful poem shows how the familiar and the odd, the real and imaginary, exist side by side. A Midwestern father transforms himself from a staid businessman into a rock 'n' roll star, reclaiming a piece of his imaginary youth. In the end, it shows how fragile moments might be recovered to o...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 11/29/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

The first poem we ran in this column was by David Allan Evans of South Dakota, about a couple washing windows together. You can find that poem and all the at americanlifeinpoetry.org. Here Tania Rochelle of Georgia presents us with another couple, this time raking leaves. I especially like the i...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 11/22/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

Linda Pastan, who lives in Maryland, is a master of the kind of water-clear writing that enables us to see into the depths. This is a poem about migrating birds, but also about how it feels to witness the passing of another year.  The Birds are heading south, pulled by a compass in the...[MORE]

American Life in Poetry

By Ted Kooser

Published: 11/15/2006

Types: Arts, Literature, Poetry

by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006 The Illinois poet, Lisel Mueller, is one of our country's finest writers, and the following lines, with their grace and humility, are representative of her poems of quiet celebration. In November Outside the house the wind is howling and the tre...[MORE]

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