16 April 2009

A Happy Birthday by Ted Kooser

[NP's NOTE: In honor of my brother's birthday, I post the following poem.]

This evening, I sat by an open window
and read till the light was gone and the book
was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride this day down into night,
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand.


Ted Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa in 1939.  He received his B.A. from Iowa State and his M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He is the author of ten collections of poetry, including Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon, 2004); Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (2000), which won the 2001 Nebraska Book Award for poetry; Weather Central (1994); One World at a Time (1985); and Sure Signs (Pittsburgh, 1980).  His fiction and non-fiction books include Braided Creek: a Conversation in Poetry (Copper Canyon, 2003) written with fellow poet and longtime friend , Jim Harrison; and Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (2002), which won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003.  His honors include two NEA fellowships in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize from Columbia, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council.  In the fall of 2004, Kooser was appointed the Library of Congress's thirteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.  He is a visiting professor in the English department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He lives on an acreage near the village of Garland, NE, with his wife Kathleen Rutledge, the editor of the Lincoln Journal Star.


Add a little caffeine to my life...