April 10, 2007

Weather Central

Weather Central by Ted Kooser
Finished on 4/6/07
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

I rarely read poetry, but since April is National Poetry Month, I decided to try reading a few poems every day. And, as Ted Kooser was the Poet Laureate of the United States (2004-2006) and a local Nebraskan, I decided to start with Weather Central (which also seems appropriate for this particular time of year when the weather is a bit temperamental).

Unfortunately, there wasn't a single poem that spoke to me in the entire collection of 58. So, I don't have any from this book to share. However, I do have a couple of favorites of Kooser's that I copied down a few years ago from his Winter Morning Walks: 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison. He began writing these poems (inspired during his daily two-mile morning walks) in 1998 while recovering from surgery and radiation for cancer.

December 25

Sometimes, when things are going well,
the daredevil squirrel of worry
suddenly leaps from the back of my head
to the feeder, swings by his paws
and clambers up, twitching his question mark tail.
And though I try the recommended baffles----
tin cone of meditation, greased pipe
of positive thought----every sunflower seed
in this life is his if he wants it.

December 26

A little snap at one side of the room,
and an answering snap at the other:
Stiff from the cold and idleness, the old house
is cracking its knuckles. Then the great yawn
of the furnace. Even the lampshade is drowsy,
its belly full of a warm yellow light.

Out under the moon, though, there is at least
one wish against this winter sleep: A road
leads into the new year, deliberate as a bride
in her sparkling white dress of new snow.

I have another collection of Kooser's that I'll start in on tonight. I still have faith that I'll find another gem like these two.


  1. I used to love poetry -- now it's harder for me to read for some reason.

    Btw, I'm glad you reviewd The Road -- I just finished it and I loved it, but I would never have read it if you hadn't reviewed it.

  2. Anonymous7:31 AM

    I haven't read any Kooser, at least I can't remember. I like the ones you posted, especially Dec. 25. I've been reading poems every day this month but not a particular collection but I'm trying to find one to read.

  3. What's that one our friend, Mary mentioned about the empty house? I liked that one, but I'm with you. Frankly, I think way too many poems are depressing and see the gloomy side of life. I wanted to like Kooser, just as I want to like a lot of poets, but geez, enough is enough about death and sorrow and melancholy. :<)

  4. I just posted a poem on my blog I think you (and Frankie) will like. :<) And speaking of Mr. Frank, please post more photos.

  5. Really enjoyed reading December 25th. Sorry to hear that the collection you read didn't really appeal, but I hope you have better luck with the next one!


  6. Katya - I've never been a big fan of poetry. And, I tend to favor those that rhyme. ;)

    Glad you enjoyed The Road. I'll have to pop over and read your review.

    Iliana - Being a worrier, that December 25 poem really resonates with me.

    After I finish with the Kooser books I brought home, I'm going to move on to Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost.

    Nan - I can't seem to locate that particular poem, but I remember which one you're referring to.

    I want to like Kooser, too. Oh, well. Two out of a hundred or so isn't too bad. ;)

    Off to read the poem you posted...

  7. I'm so glad you shared these poems with us, Les, I hadn't heard of Kooser, so it was wonderful to read something by him.

    I have been meaning to celebrate the National Month of Poetry with some of my favorite poets,perhaps I'll start with Leonard Cohen, I just love that troubadour.

  8. Andi - After Kooser, I want to try some Billy Collins. And Pablo Neuruda (sp?). I'm open to suggestions.

    Lotus - I don't know much about Cohen, but will look for some of his poetry. He is quite the prolific songwriter/novelist/poet. And Canadian! :)


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!