Splitting an Order

Splitting an Order

5.0 2
by Ted Kooser
     
 

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"Ted Kooser must be the most accessible and enjoyable major poet in America. His lines are so clear and simple." —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Readers [of Splitting an Order] will find 'characters' both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and

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Overview

"Ted Kooser must be the most accessible and enjoyable major poet in America. His lines are so clear and simple." —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Readers [of Splitting an Order] will find 'characters' both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and savored." —Library Journal, starred review

"Kooser's ability to discover the smallest detail and render it remarkable is a rare gift." —Bloomsbury Review

Hailed by Library Journal as "a master of the single-metaphor poem," Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling poet Ted Kooser calls attention to the intimacies of life through commonplace objects and occurrences. This collection—ten years in the making—is rich with quiet and profound magnificence.

I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half
. . . and then to see him lift half
onto the extra plate that he asked the server to bring,
and then to wait, offering the plate to his wife
while she slowly unrolls her napkin and places her spoon,
her knife and her fork in their proper places,
then smoothes the starched white napkin over her knees
and meets his eyes and holds out both old hands to him.

Ted Kooser is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon), which won the Pulitzer Prize. A former US Poet Laureate, Kooser serves as editor for "American Life in Poetry," a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/18/2014
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Kooser’s long-awaited follow-up to 2005’s PulitzerPrize–winning Delights and Shadows is a journey of intimacies, a stroll through lives and minds via common objects and quotidian occurrences, that brims over with small profundities and discoveries. “Because it arrives while you sleep,” Kooser writes in “Bad News,” “it’s the one call you never pick up/ on the first ring.” Writing in the soft, casual tone he’s best known for, his focuses are the telephone, the sundial, the birdhouse, and the Arby’s meal. Kooser explores the bonds of love and friendship with simple insights into the marvels of existence and meditations on aging and weariness: “she stepped outside, and placed one foot/ and then the other on the future, and it held her up.” In “Tree Removal,” “the tree makes its exit with grace,/ going down slowly, one piece at a time.” Old objects, present and remembered, become the markers by which a mind reconstitutes and evaluates a life, “forever wading/ into the next hour, followed by the rest.” Kooser, alone “among the others who have stood here,” observes the slow summation of past and present people and things, all “becoming a piece of some great, rusty work/ we seem to fit exactly.” (Oct.)
Library Journal
★ 10/01/2014
There is a comfort in reading these poems from Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Kooser: the cozy notion that despite modern technology, he is there, observing the world deeply and writing the words needed to ground us. Readers will find "characters" both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and savored, from an old couple lovingly sharing a sandwich to another sowing seed potatoes to a tribute to an old dog who waits as age and winter approach: "its rippling scent a cold/ that floats on the rest of the cold/ like a snake on a pool." Included is an essay about a first house in which shootings and a murder later take place, illustrating how time and circumstance can startle and strike memory. VERDICT Master of the single-metaphor poem, Kooser offers images that evolve, fluid and unforced: "This old hand with which I am writing/ holding its pen and pecking its way/ across the paper like a hen, has pulled me/ clucking with little discoveries/ across more than seventy years." Recommended.—Karla Huston, Appleton, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556594694
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
10/21/2014
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
161,668
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Ted Kooser: Ted Kooser is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon), which won the Pulitzer Prize. A former U.S. Poet Laureate, Kooser is one of America's best-selling poets and serves as editor for "American Life in Poetry," a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.

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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Splitting an Order 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I discovered poetry late in life and am glad that Ted Kooser was one of the poets that I discovered. I've read nearly all of Ted's collections and have enjoyed every one of them. Splitting an Order was no different. It's been said that a poet's gears begin to slip a little the older he/she gets. Not so with Kooser. Guy is still writing great poetry. Also recommended: "Jenna's Flaw" by Lee Tasey (Nebraska author)
searcher_10 More than 1 year ago
Ted Kooser and Mary Oliver are my favorite poets. Both write seemingly simple verse that gets richer and richer each time they are read