Delights & Shadows

Delights & Shadows

4.7 6
by Ted Kooser
     
 

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Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

“Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance.”—Poetry

"[Kooser] brushes poems over ordinary objects, revealing metaphysical themes that way an investigator dusts for fingerprints. His language is so

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Overview

Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

“Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance.”—Poetry

"[Kooser] brushes poems over ordinary objects, revealing metaphysical themes that way an investigator dusts for fingerprints. His language is so controlled and convincing that one can't help but feel significant truths behind his lines." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Delights & Shadows raises the voice of the poet above everything else. Each short, vivid poem on the page reads as if it were being spoken aloud. Details about cemeteries, dictionaries, a doctor's waiting room, and a jar of buttons bristle with sound and awareness. Kooser's ability to use brief lyrics to compose a music of discovery and regeneration makes his work radiant and consuming." —Bloomsbury Review

Ted Kooser is a master of metaphor, a poet who deftly connects disparate elements of the world and communicates with absolute precision. Critics call him a “haiku-like imagist” and his poems have been compared to Chekov’s short stories. In Delights and Shadows, Kooser draws inspiration from the overlooked details of daily life. Quotidian objects like a pegboard, creamed corn and a forgotten salesman’s trophy help reveal the remarkable in what before was a merely ordinary world.

Ted Kooser is the author of eight collections of poems and a prose memoir. He lives on a small farm in rural Nebraska.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Retired life insurance executive Ted Kooser is better known as the author of Sure Signs and nine other books of poems, as well as of the recent memoir Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemia Alps than for policies sold. Divided into four sections, these 59 poems take us from time "Walking on Tiptoe" and "At the Cancer Clinic" to "A Jar of Buttons," "A Box of Pastels" and "A Glimpse of the Eternal": "Just now,/ a sparrow lighted/ on a pine bough/ right outside/ my bedroom window/ and a puff/ of yellow pollen/ flew away." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"There are days when the fear of death/ is as ubiquitous as light. It illuminates/ everything." Kooser's world is indeed illuminated, though more by an awareness of mortality and the importance of every moment. Here it illuminates a ladybug beetle but elsewhere shirts and slacks, "a bank of threatening clouds/ that hang from a pipe between two ladders" at a yard sale, the small town set in an abandoned mini golf course or simply a quartz pebble he notices by the toe of his boot. "I held it to the light/ and could almost see through it/ into the grand explanation." Kooser's ninth collection of poems (e.g., Local Wonders) reflects the simple and remarkable things of everyday life. That he often sees things we do not would be delight enough, but more amazing is exactly what he sees. Nothing escapes him; everything is illuminated. There is much to celebrate in these small-town poems about small-town people and a reminder to all of us how America's voice and warm wisdom resonate from the middle. Highly recommended.-Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619320055
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
12/04/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
849,530
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

As Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser launched the weekly poetry column "American Life in Poetry," which appears in over 100 newspapers nationwide. He is the author of ten books of poems, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows. He lives in Nebraska.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Garland, Nebraska
Date of Birth:
1939
Place of Birth:
Ames, Iowa
Education:
B.S., Iowa State University, 1962; M.A., University of Nebraska, 1968

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Delights & Shadows 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Somewhere in our critical language the word 'simple' gained negative connotations, as though the word should be hyphenated with suffixes like simpleminded, simpleton, etc. Ted Kooser has resurrected the true meaning of that word and uses it with grace and aplomb in his poetry and his prominence in the arena of American Poets (he is the Poet Laureate of the United States) proves that his creative decision has been correct.DELIGHTS & SHADOWS is a brilliant collection of his recent poems and for those unfamiliar with Kooser's writing, this small book is an excellent starting point. Kooser takes the most mundane 'simple' topics, observes them, mulls them like brewing a pot of tea and then serves them back to us in the quietest, leanest way, a manner that causes pause. And if ever a poet defined his reason in a word for writing, 'pause' would be high on the list.He can be gut wrenchingly poignant as in FATHER 'Today you would be ninety-seven/if you had lived, and we would all be/miserable, you and your children,/driving from the clinic..........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 at 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.' No lovelier eulogy could be imagined from a son for his father.Kooser writes of Flow Blue China, cancer clinics, tattoos, starlight, grasshoppers - and so many more of the unnoticed beauties that pry into the cracks of our crowded lives. Reading Ted Kooser is a reorienting experience, one that is a powerful, quiet salve.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love poetry and I can see why this book has won the Pulitzer price. I have enjoyed this piece of work a lot, and I know you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book of poetry had so much insight into things that we all feel, but do not neccesarily take note of. It is a must-read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ted Kooser writes about the world, the essence of all that we see and feel. He can turn a phrase, unlike most of the poets today who simply fail at blank verse. This is a very accessible collection, readable by those of every circumstance and background.