Friday, March 07, 2008

Poetry Friday

I stumbled accidentally onto this site, the Wessels Living History Farm, and felt like I'd found a delicious little secret on their podcast page. It includes a gathering of 15 videos -- Ted Kooser reading his poetry and giving us insight and sneak peeks into its making.

So This is Nebraska made me smile because there was a time that I, too, felt "snotty ... about Nebraska" and yet I have come to love this place as my home. I didn't move here until I was eleven years old (after living in Massachusetts, Washington, Alaska and Florida) and I still remember my 11-year-old shock at seeing pigs on TV during the evening news (it took me a long time to get used to seeing all those commercials peddling fertilizer.)

I still remember being dismayed at how small the towns can be and how wide open the spaces.

Kooser expresses it all so charmingly:

...
So this is Nebraska. A Sunday
afternoon; July. Driving along
with your hand out squeezing the air,
a meadowlark waiting on every post.

Behind a shelterbelt of cedars,
top-deep in hollyhocks, pollen and bees,
a pickup kicks its fenders off
and settles back to read the clouds.

You feel like that; you feel like letting
your tires go flat, like letting the mice
build a nest in your muffler, like being
no more than a truck in the weeds
...

Listen to the whole poem here.

Read more of my bloggish musing about Ted Kooser here, here, here and here.

Visit Ted Kooser's website here.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Christine, at The Simple and the Ordinary.

7 comments:

jama said...

Rousing applause for Ted Kooser!!

I haven't yet read enough of his poetry. The few poems I know make me keep wanting more more more. I love his underlying philosophy -- to make poetry accessible to the average person, and as you mentioned, to elevate the ordinary to the sublime.
I almost posted the cancer clinic poem, because a cousin is fighting that battle now.

I want to live by these words: "Old friend, perhaps we work too hard at being remembered."

Sara said...

Not only do I love that poem, I love the way the podcast is formatted, so you can watch, listen and scroll the words, all at once. Thanks for sharing your "delicious little secret!"

Christine M said...

I love how he captures the feel of a place.

Jenny said...

Hi Karen-Thanks so much for posting this poem. As we study each state, I am trying to find a poem about each state. I have filed this post away for when we get to Nebraska.

Thanks! Jenny

writer2b said...

I love this, especially the part about "leaving your hand out larklike." Something about that captures freedom today.

Sarah said...

In the words of my Miss Muffet...yumolicious! You're going to, ever-so-quietly and just by being who you are, talk me into checking out this Poetry Friday thing more. (Just not right now. There's a blizzard out there and I must document it!)

My aunt, the poet, would be so proud of you, tricking me into poetry like that. But what's not to love about THAT excerpt? Ah, I can feel a longing to be in Nebraska...

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Oh, we love him. Our oldest girl went to see him in Lincoln once and fell in love with him and his poetry. Thanks!