Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ted Kooser Wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Current Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for his latest collection, “Delights and Shadows”.

Kooser, a retired life insurance executive, has published ten books of poetry over the past thirty-five years and has received numerous awards. A native of Iowa, he has lived for years in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. There is a hilarious interview with him in the New York Times.

This past December, while attending Jared Carter’s reading at the Library of Congress, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Kooser, whose work I have admired for a number of years. His quiet understated humor was what anyone who had read his poetry would expect. While most poets are a notoriously jealous lot, it is hard to begrudge such a craftsmen and gentleman his good fortune.

Below is one of my favorites:

Ted Kooser Posted by Hello

The Blind Always Come as Such a Surprise

The blind always come as such a surprise,
suddenly filling an elevator
with a great white porcupine of canes,
or coming down upon us in a noisy crowd
like the eye of a hurricane.
The dashboards of cars stopped at crosswalks
and the shoes of commuters on trains
are covered with sentences
struck down in mid-flight by the canes of the blind.
Each of them changes our lives,
tapping across the bright circle of our ambitions
like cracks traversing the favorite china.


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