Treasure Island

Ted Kooser

(Ames, Iowa)

Ted Kooser
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Ted Kooser is one of the nation’s most highly regarded poets and served as the United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 - 2006. During his second term he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004). A Presidential Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is the author of twelve full-length collections of poetry. Over the years his works have appeared in many periodicals including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Antioch Review. Koosers’ poems are included in ... more »

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  • Brigit Murray (6/20/2014 6:57:00 PM)

    Another of his poems to add...

    Abandoned Farmhouse
    By Ted Kooser

    He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
    on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
    a tall man too, says the length of the bed
    in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
    says the Bible with a broken back
    on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
    but not a man for farming, say the fields
    cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

    A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
    papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
    covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
    says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
    Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
    and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
    And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
    It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

    Something went wrong, says the empty house
    in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
    say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
    in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
    And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
    like branches after a storm- a rubber cow,
    a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
    a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

  • Tom Squires (5/5/2014 7:54:00 PM)

    Yes a force indeed, I just read flying at night, it's just beautiful.

  • Claudia Moline (5/5/2014 2:23:00 PM)

    I agree with comments about Kooser being a master. He and Mary Oliver and Galway Kinnell are poets I go back to and read again and again and again.

  • Grace Greene (10/19/2005 7:47:00 PM)

    Kooser is a master. After reading his book Delights and Shadows cover to cover at least three times, I am thoroughly convinced that he is one of the most distinguished and gifted authors of our time, as well as my favorite. The intense yet simplistic ways in which Kooser captures his subjects leaves me absolutely speechless with wonder at how one person can be supplied with such an immense amount of talent. I am truly awed and inspired by Kooser's work.

    If I had to choose a single poem as my 'favorite, ' I would definitely say 'A Spiral Notebook' comes out on top. As a writer myself, this poem deeply and truly speaks to me, as well as many of my peers, in an almost indescribable fashion. The beauty with which Kooser describes the notebook and the feelings of the person handling it is truly amazing. I highly recommend all and any of Ted Kooser's work to anyone who has the gift to understand and appreciate this man's wonderful way with words.

  • Wanda Bailey (9/22/2005 10:19:00 PM)

    Ted, I just got your book, Delights and Shadows, and The Poetry Home Repair Manual today..I finished Delights and Shadows and half way through Home Repair..LOL I'm definately a free style writer..No syllabics for me.. I am so inspired by your writing. Wanda Bailey

  • Larry Obrien (4/6/2005 11:38:00 AM)

    Kooser and
    the Pulitzer
    kinda coolitzer

  • Charles Pfeffer (3/9/2005 9:35:00 PM)

    Ted Kooser wrote a poem abut a father receiving his daughter's coffin at a remote railroad station, and then taking it home. Where could I find this poem?
    Thank you,
    C. Pfeiffer

  • Ruth Ferris (11/4/2004 9:47:00 AM)

    I understand Kooser wrote blizzard poetry. How can I get these? I have a student interested in building a poetry program on the topic for speech team.

  • Marv Welt (10/25/2004 1:30:00 PM)

    Kooser wrote a poem about his father that ttalks of his fathers death. What poem and how can I get it? Thanks, Marv Welt

  • Nancy Hamilton (10/14/2004 6:12:00 PM)

    Where can I find the poem 'That was I' by Ted Kooser I would enjoy having a copy to read to my class mates.

    Nancy Hamilton

    Chamnsh@snowhill.com

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