April 10, 2007
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.
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.
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.