Kudos to Kooser

For many months now I’ve been liberally sprinkling this blog with excerpts from Braided Creek, the “conversation in poetry” that Ted Kooser co-authored with Jim Harrison. So can I claim credit for Kooser’s selection as the new Poetry Consultant to the Librarian of Congress? (I refuse to employ the new, overblown term “Poet Laureate” for an appointment that lasts a single year!)

Ted Kooser, like Wallace Stevens, made his career in the insurance industry. I believe this is the first time in many years that the Library of Congress has selected someone from outside academia.

Here’s a piece that speaks to me. This is from Kooser’s Sure Signs: New and Selected Poems (Pitt Poetry Press, 1980).

Visiting Mountains

The plains ignore us,
but these mountains listen,
an audience of thousands
holding its breath
in each rock. Climbing,
we pick our way
over the skulls of small talk.
On the prairies below us,
the grass leans this way and that
in discussion;
words fly away like corn shucks
over the fields.
Here, lost in a mountain’s
attention, there’s nothing to say.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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