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Selecting A Reader -- Ted Kooser

Guest poem sent in by Rukmini Kumar
(Poem #1666) Selecting A Reader
 First, I would have her be beautiful,
 and walking carefully up on my poetry
 at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
 her hair still damp at the neck
 from washing it. She should be wearing
 a raincoat, an old one, dirty
 from not having money enough for the cleaners.
 She will take out her glasses, and there
 in the bookstore, she will thumb
 over my poems, then put the book back
 up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
 "For that kind of money, I can get
 my raincoat cleaned." And she will.
-- Ted Kooser
I heard Ted Kooser interviewed on the show Fresh Air on NPR. Ted Kooser is
America's first poet laureate from the great plains (He was born in Iowa and
lived in Nebraska,check [broken link] http://www.tedkooser.com/about.html). I loved this poem
for its simple sensousness combined with an unaffected practicality
(Interestingly, Kooser was an insurance representative for most of his
professional life).

Rukmini Kumar.

[Martin adds]

I was enjoying this poem in a lazy sort of way until I came to the ending,
which jolted me awake, metaphorically speaking, and put this poem firmly on my
"highly memorable" list. Perhaps I am overly enamoured with endings
(particularly ones that are both powerful and unexpected), but in my opinion,
they have a disproportionately large impact on the reader, and can easily be
responsible for the net effect of the poem. This is not to say that I did not
appreciate the rest of the poem, but it was definitely the last two lines that
made it for me.

martin

[Links]

Repeating the link to the biography:
 [broken link] http://www.tedkooser.com/about.html

52 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Fouzaan Zafar said...

I first read this in Billy Collin's collection of little known poets
entitled "Poetry 180". Highly recommend it if anyone is interested in more
gems like this one.

~Fouzaan Zafar

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