Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Love Calls You By Your Name (Leonard Cohen)

Human B e h a v i o u r - II
Originally uploaded by fabikinhas_world.

You thought that it could never happen
to all the people that you became,
your body lost in legend, the beast so very tame.
But here, right here,
between the birthmark and the stain,
between the ocean and your open vein,
between the snowman and the rain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.
The women in your scrapbook
whom you still praise and blame,
you say they chained you to your fingernails
and you climb the halls of fame.
Oh but here, right here,
between the peanuts and the cage,
between the darkness and the stage,
between the hour and the age,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.

Shouldering your loneliness
like a gun that you will not learn to aim,
you stumble into this movie house,
then you climb, you climb into the frame.
Yes, and here, right here
between the moonlight and the lane,
between the tunnel and the train,
between the victim and his stain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.

I leave the lady meditating
on the very love which I, I do not wish to claim,
I journey down the hundred steps,
but the street is still the very same.
And here, right here,
between the dancer and his cane,
between the sailboat and the drain,
between the newsreel and your tiny pain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.

Where are you, Judy, where are you, Anne?
Where are the paths your heroes came?
Wondering out loud as the bandage pulls away,
was I, was I only limping, was I really lame?
Oh here, come over here,
between the windmill and the grain,
between the sundial and the chain,
between the traitor and her pain,
once again, once again,
love calls you by your name.

Leonard Cohen

Last Year's Man (Leonard Cohen)

Leonard Cohen
The rain falls down on last year's man,
that's a jew's harp on the table,
that's a crayon in his hand.
And the corners of the blueprint are ruined since they rolled
far past the stems of thumbtacks
that still throw shadows on the wood.
And the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man.
I met a lady, she was playing with her soldiers in the dark
oh one by one she had to tell them
that her name was Joan of Arc.
I was in that army, yes I stayed a little while;
I want to thank you, Joan of Arc,
for treating me so well.
And though I wear a uniform I was not born to fight;
all these wounded boys you lie beside,
goodnight, my friends, goodnight.

I came upon a wedding that old families had contrived;
Bethlehem the bridegroom,
Babylon the bride.
Great Babylon was naked, oh she stood there trembling for me,
and Bethlehem inflamed us both
like the shy one at some orgy.
And when we fell together all our flesh was like a veil
that I had to draw aside to see
the serpent eat its tail.

Some women wait for Jesus, and some women wait for Cain
so I hang upon my altar
and I hoist my axe again.
And I take the one who finds me back to where it all began
when Jesus was the honeymoon
and Cain was just the man.
And we read from pleasant Bibles that are bound in blood and skin
that the wilderness is gathering
all its children back again.

The rain falls down on last year's man,
an hour has gone by
and he has not moved his hand.
But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
the lovers will rise up
and the mountains touch the ground.
But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man.

Leonard Cohen

Stranger Song (Leonard Cohen)

Originally uploaded by anhtu.

It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender,
who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
you find he did not leave you very much
not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
that is so high and wild
he'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger

And then leaning on your window sill
he'll say one day you caused his will
to weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
an old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

But now another stranger seems
to want you to ignore his dreams
as though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
his golden arm dispatching cards
but now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter.

Ah you hate to see another tired man
lay down his hand
like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
you notice there's a highway
that is curling up like smoke above his shoulder.
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder.

You tell him to come in sit down
but something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It's you my love, you who are the stranger.

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
we'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
to get me to the heart of this
or any other matter
When he talks like this
you don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this,
you don't know what he's after.

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
upon the shore, beneath the bridge
that they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform
for the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind ...

And leaning on your window sill ...

I told you when I came I was a stranger.

Leonard Cohen

Fare Well (Federico García Lorca)

Take this longing ....
Originally uploaded by hefestus.

If I die,
leave the balcony open.

The little boy is eating oranges.
(From my balcony I can see him.)

The reaper is harvesting the wheat.
(From my balcony I can hear him.)

If I die,
leave the balcony open!

Federico García Lorca

A Life (Sylvia Plath)

Luna de nieve/snow moon
Originally uploaded by Molotovio.

Touch it: it won't shrink like an eyeball,
This egg-shaped bailiwick, clear as a tear.
Here's yesterday, last year ---
Palm-spear and lily distinct as flora in the vast
Windless threadwork of a tapestry.

Flick the glass with your fingernail:
It will ping like a Chinese chime in the slightest air stir
Though nobody in there looks up or bothers to answer.
The inhabitants are light as cork,
Every one of them permanently busy.

At their feet, the sea waves bow in single file.
Never trespassing in bad temper:
Stalling in midair,
Short-reined, pawing like paradeground horses.
Overhead, the clouds sit tasseled and fancy

As Victorian cushions. This family
Of valentine faces might please a collector:
They ring true, like good china.

Elsewhere the landscape is more frank.
The light falls without letup, blindingly.

A woman is dragging her shadow in a circle
About a bald hospital saucer.
It resembles the moon, or a sheet of blank paper
And appears to have suffered a sort of private blitzkrieg.
She lives quietly

With no attachments, like a foetus in a bottle,
The obsolete house, the sea, flattened to a picture
She has one too many dimensions to enter.
Grief and anger, exorcised,
Leave her alone now.

The future is a grey seagull
Tattling in its cat-voice of departure.
Age and terror, like nurses, attend her,
And a drowned man, complaining of the great cold,
Crawls up out of the sea.

Sylvia Plath

Skater (Ted Kooser)

Two more ice skaters
Originally uploaded by Samuel K.

She was all in black but for a yellow pony tail
that trailed from her cap, and bright blue gloves
that she held out wide, the feathery fingers spread,
as surely she stepped, click-clack, onto the frozen
top of the world. And there, with a clatter of blades,
she began to braid a loose path that broadened
into a meadow of curls. Across the ice she swooped
and then turned back and, halfway, bent her legs
and leapt into the air the way a crane leaps, blue gloves
lifting her lightly, and turned a snappy half-turn
there in the wind before coming down, arms wide,
skating backward right out of that moment, smiling back
at the woman she'd been just an instant before.

Ted Kooser

Carrie (Ted Kooser)

Blue. Light.
Originally uploaded by James Rye.

"There's never an end to dust
and dusting," my aunt would say
as her rag, like a thunderhead,
scudded across the yellow oak
of her little house. There she lived
seventy years with a ball
of compulsion closed in her fist,
and an elbow that creaked and popped
like a branch in a storm. Now dust
is her hands and dust her heart.
There's never an end to it.

Ted Kooser

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Barbara (Jacques Prévert)

Originally uploaded by East eneko.

Rappelle-toi Barbara
Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest ce jour-là
Et tu marchais souriante
Épanouie ravie ruisselante
Sous la pluie
Rappelle-toi Barbara
Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest
Et je t'ai croisée rue de Siam
Tu souriais
Et moi je souriais de même
Rappelle-toi Barbara
Toi que je ne connaissais pas
Toi qui ne me connaissais pas
Rappelle-toi quand même jour-là
N'oublie pas
Un homme sous un porche s'abritait
Et il a crié ton nom
Et tu as couru vers lui sous la pluie
Ruisselante ravie épanouie
Et tu t'es jetée dans ses bras
Rappelle-toi cela Barbara
Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
Même si je ne les ai vus qu'une seule fois
Je dis tu à tous ceux qui s'aiment
Même si je ne les connais pas
Rappelle-toi Barbara
N'oublie pas
Cette pluie sage et heureuse
Sur ton visage heureux
Sur cette ville heureuse
Cette pluie sur la mer
Sur l'arsenal
Sur le bateau d'Ouessant
Oh Barbara
Quelle connerie la guerre
Qu'es-tu devenue maintenant
Sous cette pluie de fer
De feu d'acier de sang
Et celui qui te serrait dans ses bras
Est-il mort disparu ou bien encore vivant
Oh Barbara
Il pleut sans cesse sur Brest
Comme il pleuvait avant
Mais ce n'est plus pareil et tout est abimé
C'est une pluie de deuil terrible et désolée
Ce n'est même plus l'orage
De fer d'acier de sang
Tout simplement des nuages
Qui crèvent comme des chiens
Des chiens qui disparaissent
Au fil de l'eau sur Brest
Et vont pourrir au loin
Au loin très loin de Brest
Dont il ne reste rien.

Jacques Prévert

Alicante (Jacques Prévert)

Originally uploaded by Thinkabout.

Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
Et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie.

Jacques Prévert

Les feuilles mortes (Jacques Prévert)

At the Jardin de Luxenburg
Originally uploaded by hefestus.

Les feuilles mortes

C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous, les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur la sable les pas des amants désunis

Oh! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Des jours heureux oů nous étions amis
En ce temps-la la vie était plus belle,
Et le soleil plus brűlant qu'aujourd'hui
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent a la pelle
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié...
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent a la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Et le vent du nord les emporte
Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli.
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié
La chanson que tu me chantais.

C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble
Toi, tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent a la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Mais mon amour silencieux et fidele
Sourit toujours et remercie la vie
Je t'aimais tant, tu étais si jolie,
Comment veux-tu que je t'oublie?
En ce temps-la, la vie était plus belle
Et le soleil plus brűlant qu'aujourd'hui
Tu étais ma plus douce amie
Mais je n'ai que faire des regrets
Et la chanson que tu chantais
Toujours, toujours je l'entendrai!

C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble
Toi, tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.

(musique: Joseph Kosma, paroles: Jacques Prévert, interprete pour la premiere fois par Yves Montand en 1946)

Jacques Prévert

Chanson pour les enfants l’hiver (Jacques Prévert)

Paris Jardin de Luxenbourg
Originally uploaded by hefestus.

Dans la nuit de l’hiver galope un grand homme blanc.
C’est un bonhomme de neige avec une pipe en bois,
un grand bonhomme de neige poursuivi par le froid.

Il arrive au village.
Voyant de la lumière,
le voilà rassuré.

Dans une petite maison, il entre sans frapper
et pour se réchauffer
s’assoit sur le poêle rouge
et d’un coup disparaît,
ne laissant que sa pipe au milieu d’une flaque d’eau,
ne laissant que sa pipe et puis son vieux chapeau...

Jacques Prévert

A First Confession (William Butler Yeats)

Originally uploaded by AN Kim.

I admit the briar
Entangled in my hair
Did not injure me;
My blenching and trembling,
Nothing but dissembling,
Nothing but coquetry.

I long for truth, and yet
I cannot stay from that
My better self disowns,
For a man's attention
Brings such satisfaction
To the craving in my bones.

Brightness that I pull back
From the Zodiac,
Why those questioning eyes
That are fixed upon me?
What can they do but shun me
If empty night replies?

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats


William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was born in Dublin. His father was a lawyer and a well-known portrait painter. Yeats was educated in London and in Dublin, but he spent his summers in the west of Ireland in the family's summer house at Connaught. The young Yeats was very much part of the fin de siècle in London; at the same time he was active in societies that attempted an Irish literary revival. His first volume of verse appeared in 1887, but in his earlier period his dramatic production outweighed his poetry both in bulk and in import. Together with Lady Gregory he founded the Irish Theatre, which was to become the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief playwright until the movement was joined by John Synge. His plays usually treat Irish legends; they also reflect his fascination with mysticism and spiritualism. The Countess Cathleen (1892), The Land of Heart's Desire (1894), Cathleen ni Houlihan (1902), The King's Threshold (1904), and Deirdre (1907) are among the best known.

After 1910, Yeats's dramatic art took a sharp turn toward a highly poetical, static, and esoteric style. His later plays were written for small audiences; they experiment with masks, dance, and music, and were profoundly influenced by the Japanese Noh plays. Although a convinced patriot, Yeats deplored the hatred and the bigotry of the Nationalist movement, and his poetry is full of moving protests against it. He was appointed to the Irish Senate in 1922. Yeats is one of the few writers whose greatest works were written after the award of the Nobel Prize. Whereas he received the Prize chiefly for his dramatic works, his significance today rests on his lyric achievement. His poetry, especially the volumes The Wild Swans at Coole (1919), Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921), The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933), and Last Poems and Plays (1940), made him one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets writing in English. His recurrent themes are the contrast of art and life, masks, cyclical theories of life (the symbol of the winding stairs), and the ideal of beauty and ceremony contrasting with the hubbub of modern life.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

This autobiography/biography was first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

William Butler Yeats died on January 28, 1939.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1923

A Cradle Song

Originally uploaded by heavenuphere.

THE angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.
God's laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with His mood.
I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.

William Butler Yeats

Alba (Ezra Pound)

Lily of the valley, Pt. 2
Originally uploaded by Don Gru.

As cool as the pale wet leaves
of lily-of-the-valley
She laid beside me in the dawn

Ezra Pound

A Girl (Ezra Pound )

Originally uploaded by fabikinhas_world.

The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast -
The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world.

Ezra Pound

all in green (ee cummings)

Originally uploaded by maz hewitt.

all in green

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
the swift red deer
the red rare deer.

Four red roebuck at a white water
the cruel bugle sang before.

Horn at hip went my love riding
riding the echo down
into the silver dawn.

Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the level meadows ran before.

Softer be they than slippered sleep
the lean lithe deer
the fleet flown deer.

Four fleet does at a gold valley
the famished arrow sang before.

Bow at belt went my love riding
riding the mountain down
into the silver dawn.

Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the sheer peaks ran before.

Paler be they than daunting death
the sleek slim deer
the tall tense deer.

Four tall stags at the green mountain
the lucky hunter sang before.

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
my heart fell dead before.

ee cummings

An Appearance (Sylvia Plath)

Originally uploaded by MIU!.

The smile of iceboxes annihilates me.
Such blue currents in the veins of my loved one!
I hear her great heart purr.

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit like kisses.
It is Monday in her mind: morals

Launder and present themselves.
What am I to make of these contradictions?
I wear white cuffs, I bow.

Is this love then, this red material
Issuing from the steele needle that flies so blindingly?
It will make little dresses and coats,

It will cover a dynasty.
How her body opens and shuts --
A Swiss watch, jeweled in the hinges!

O heart, such disorganization!
The stars are flashing like terrible numerals.
ABC, her eyelids say.

Sylvia Plath

A Song (Walt Whitman)

In his footsteps...
Originally uploaded by specialagentkate.

COME, I will make the continent indissoluble;
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever yet shone upon;
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.

I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of
America, and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over
the prairies;
I will make inseparable cities, with their arms about each other's
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.

For you these, from me, O Democracy, to serve you, ma femme! 10
For you! for you, I am trilling these songs,
In the love of comrades,
In the high-towering love of comrades.

Walt Whitman

After Years (Ted Kooser)

Originally uploaded by fabikinhas_world.

After Years

Today, from a distance, I saw you
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomer's retina
as he stood on the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell.

Ted Kooser

A Birthday Poem (Ted Kooser)

a familiar view
Originally uploaded by maxivida.

Just past dawn, the sun stands
with its heavy red head
in a black stanchion of trees,
waiting for someone to come
with his bucket
for the foamy white light,
and then a long day in the pasture.
I too spend my days grazing,
feasting on every green moment
till darkness calls,
and with the others
I walk away into the night,
swinging the little tin bell
of my name.

Ted Kooser


Je veux dédier ce poème
A toutes les femmes qu'on aime
Pendant quelques instants secrets
A celles qu'on connait à peine
Qu'un destin différent entraîne
Et qu'on ne retrouve jamais

A celle qu'on voit apparaître
Une seconde à sa fenêtre
Et qui, preste, s'évanouit
Mais dont la svelte silhouette
Est si gracieuse et fluette
Qu'on en demeure épanoui

A la compagne de voyage
Dont les yeux, charmant paysage
Font paraître court le chemin
Qu'on est seul, peut-être, à comprendre
Et qu'on laisse pourtant descendre
Sans avoir effleuré sa main

A la fine et souple valseuse
Qui vous sembla triste et nerveuse
Par une nuit de carnaval
Qui voulu rester inconnue
Et qui n'est jamais revenue
Tournoyer dans un autre bal

A celles qui sont déjà prises
Et qui, vivant des heures grises
Près d'un être trop différent
Vous ont, inutile folie,
Laissé voir la mélancolie
D'un avenir désespérant

Chères images aperçues
Espérances d'un jour déçues
Vous serez dans l'oubli demain
Pour peu que le bonheur survienne
Il est rare qu'on se souvienne
Des épisodes du chemin

Mais si l'on a manqué sa vie
On songe avec un peu d'envie
A tous ces bonheurs entrevus
Aux baisers qu'on n'osa pas prendre
Aux cœurs qui doivent vous attendre
Aux yeux qu'on n'a jamais revus

Alors, aux soirs de lassitude
Tout en peuplant sa solitude
Des fantômes du souvenir
On pleure les lêvres absentes
De toutes ces belles passantes
Que l'on n'a pas su retenir

Antoine Pol

Famous song sung by Georges Brassens.

At Jardin de Luxenbourg
Originally uploaded by hefestus.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (Dylan Thomas)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Originally uploaded by maz hewitt.

Clown in the Moon (Dylan Thomas)

My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.

I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.

Dylan Thomas

Originally uploaded by Emelobi.

Flying at Night (Ted Kooser)

Flying at Night

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

Ted Kooser

memento mori 2
Originally uploaded by TommyOshima.

Ted Kooser Bio

Ted Kooser is one of Nebraska’s most highly regarded poets and served as the United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 - 2006. A professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he is the author of eleven full-length collections of poetry, including Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004) and Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994). 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 textbooks and anthologies used in both secondary schools and college classrooms across the country. He has received two NEA fellowships in poetry, the Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize, The James Boatwright Prize, and a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council.

Kooser has read his poetry for The Academy of American Poets in New York City as well as for many university audiences including those of the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell at Ithaca, Case Western Reserve at Cleveland, The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has conducted writing workshops in connection with many of these readings.

In addition to poetry, Kooser has written in a variety of forms including plays, fiction, personal essays, and literary criticism. His first book of prose, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps (University of Nebraska Press, 2002), won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003 and Third Place in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction for 2002. The book was chosen as the Best Book Written by a Midwestern Writer for 2002 by Friends of American Writers. It also won the Gold Award for Autobiography in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards. The University of Nebraska Press will publish his newest book The Poetry Home Repair Manual in January 2005. The book will give beginning poets tips for their writing.

Currently he is editor and publisher of Windflower Press which specializes in the publication of contemporary poetry. Though mostly inactive now, Windflower published a number of books as well as two literary magazines, The Salt Creek Reader (1967-1975) and The Blue Hotel (1980-1981). The Salt Creek Reader was awarded several grants of support from the National Endowment of the Arts through The Coordination Council of Literary Magazines. Kooser published several anthologies through Windflower Press. One of these, The Windflower Home Almanac of Poetry, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best books from small presses for 1980. Seventeen Danish Poets in Translation received international notice, and As Far As I Can See; Contemporary Writing of the Middle Plains is in use as a text in secondary schools and colleges across the plains region. In 1999, Kooser published Roy Scheele's Keeping the Horses as a fundraising project for the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association.

Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser earned a BS at Iowa State University in 1962 and an MA at the University of Nebraska in 1968. He is a former vice-president of the Lincoln Benefit Life, where he worked as an insurance representative for many years. He lives on an acreage near the town of Garland, Nebraska, with his wife, Kathleen Rutledge, and dogs, Alice and Howard. He also has a son, Jeff, and a granddaughter, Margare

Tattoo (Ted Kooser)

Ted Kooser portrait

What once was meant to be a statement—
a dripping dagger held in the fist
of a shuddering heart—is now just a bruise
on a bony old shoulder, the spot
where vanity once punched him hard
and the ache lingered on. He looks like
someone you had to reckon with,
strong as a stallion, fast and ornery,
but on this chilly morning, as he walks
between the tables at a yard sale
with the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt
rolled up to show us who he was,
he is only another old man, picking up
broken tools and putting them back,
his heart gone soft and blue with stories.

from Delights & Shadows, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA 2004

Ted Kooser

Originally uploaded by maxivida.

Father (Ted Kooser)


Today you would be ninety-seven
if you had lived, and we would all be
miserable, you and your children,
driving from clinic to clinic,
an ancient fearful hypochondriac
and his fretful son and daughter,
asking directions, trying to read
the complicated, fading map of cures.
But with your dignity intact
you have been gone for twenty years,
and I am glad for all of us, although
I miss you every day—the heartbeat
under your necktie, the hand cupped
on the back of my neck, Old Spice
in the air, your voice delighted with stories.
On this day each year you loved to relate
that the moment of your birth
your mother glanced out the window
and saw lilacs in bloom. Well, today
lilacs are blooming in side yards
all over Iowa, still welcoming you.

from Delights & Shadows, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA 2004

Originally uploaded by Navelfluff.