Valentines [NOOK Book]

Overview


For Valentine’s Day 1986, Ted Kooser wrote “Pocket Poem” and sent the tender, thoughtful composition to fifty women friends, starting an annual tradition that would persist for the next twenty-one years. Printed on postcards, the poems were mailed to a list of recipients that eventually grew to more than 2,500 women all over the United States. Valentines collects Kooser’s twenty-two years of Valentine’s Day poems, complemented with ...
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Valentines

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Overview


For Valentine’s Day 1986, Ted Kooser wrote “Pocket Poem” and sent the tender, thoughtful composition to fifty women friends, starting an annual tradition that would persist for the next twenty-one years. Printed on postcards, the poems were mailed to a list of recipients that eventually grew to more than 2,500 women all over the United States. Valentines collects Kooser’s twenty-two years of Valentine’s Day poems, complemented with illustrations by Robert Hanna and a new poem appearing for the first time.
 
Kooser’s valentine poems encompass all the facets of the holiday: the traditional hearts and candy, the brilliance and purity of love, the quiet beauty of friendship, and the bittersweetness of longing. Some of the poems use the word valentine, others do not, but there is never any doubt as to the purpose of Kooser’s creations.
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Editorial Reviews

Emily Nussbaum
…who wants a valentine stained with 2,500 thumbprints? I do, it turns out. Because while Kooser's wry, homespun valentines may not suit every poetry lover's taste—too sentimental for some, too straightforward for others—they are also perversely disarming, a trail of daisies leading to the bedroom door. Over 22 years, Kooser has discovered a startling variety of ways to invert and enliven the vocabulary of romance, finding tender implications in even the mustiest Valentine's symbols.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In 1986, Kooser (U.S. poet laureate 2004-2006) started a tradition. He sent a Valentine's Day poem on a postcard to 50 women. Over the past 30 years, he's sent his annual poem to an increasing number of women (in 2007 there were 2,600 recipients). This collection presents all the postcard poems plus one more, dedicated to Kooser's wife, Kathleen. Accompanied by drawings by Robert Hanna, each poem is a unique snapshot of love. The poet says it best himself: "all my life, I have wanted nothing so much as the love of women." (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
New York Times Book Review

“Over 22 years, Kooser has discovered a startling variety of ways to invert and enliven the vocabulary of romance, finding tender implications in even the mustiest Valentine’s symbols. . . . When it comes to his beloved(s), Kooser has generous eyes, offering always to keep her young. . . . Kooser’s poems do build a frisson, making the most of small moments of intimacy.”—Emily Nussbaum, New York Times Book Review

— Emily Nussbaum

The Christian Science Monitor

“The writing in this book is classic Kooser: simple images, down-to-earth language, insight, and uncommonly good sense, all of which combine to produce memorable, resonant endings. . . . The artwork, like the verse, is inviting, warm, and unpretentious.”—Elizabeth Lund, Christian Science Monitor

— Elizabeth Lund

Booklist

“Because Kooser is a master of such unpretentious scene-painting, these are poems of rich, Wordsworthian common feeling. . . . They’ve nearly all appeared in Kooser’s previous collections, but especially as accompanied by Robert Hanna’s drawings . . . they’ve never seemed more like godsends—or valentines!”—Booklist

— Roy Olsen

Louise Erdrich
"If it was Ted's sacred mission to satisfy the hearts of women, he has succeeded. One exquisite valentine every year-the answer, at last, to what women want."
Debra Winger
"I am a bit stunned. I just found out that these valentines, addressed to me, all these years, are in fact part of a vast network of hearts, laced together by one man's words, 'a starburst compass pointing in all directions,' an indescribable bon-bon-mot served every February 14th, now a complete feast, between these covers. What a gift."
Ellen Gilchrist
"For many years I have been a recipient of Ted Kooser's incredible valentines. Valentine's Day became my favorite holiday because there was never any sadness, only the knowledge that usually, on the actual Valentine's Day-and how he achieved this, I'll never know-these beautiful small sonnets would arrive and I'd carry them around and show them to everyone I knew. I can only hope that the readers of this book will have some part of the great pleasure it gave me to read these poems."
Nebraska Life

“Forget about any Valentine you’ve seen in a grocery store aisle. These poems—touching, funny, ironic, and with the startling and always-fresh use of metaphor for which Kooser is known—are something else entirely.”— Nebraska Life

NewWest.Net

“People who weren’t fortunate enough to make it onto Kooser’s Valentine’s list—which included such recipients as the novelist Louise Erdrich and the actress Debra Winter—do not have to sit home alone with an empty Valentine shoebox any longer. Ted Kooser’s Valentines will fill any shoebox to the brim with romance and wry insight.”—NewWest.net
Louise Erdrich

“If it was Ted’s sacred mission to satisfy the hearts of women, he has succeeded. One exquisite valentine every year—the answer, at last, to what women want.”—Louise Erdrich

Debra Winger

“I am a bit stunned. I just found out that these valentines, addressed to me, all these years, are in fact part of a vast network of hearts, laced together by one man’s words, ‘a starburst compass pointing in all directions,’ an indescribable bon-bon-mot served every February 14th, now a complete feast, between these covers. What a gift.”—Debra Winger
Ellen Gilchrist

“For many years I have been a recipient of Ted Kooser’s incredible valentines. Valentine’s Day became my favorite holiday because there was never any sadness, only the knowledge that usually, on the actual Valentine’s Day—and how he achieved this, I’ll never know—these beautiful small sonnets would arrive and I’d carry them around and show them to everyone I knew. I can only hope that the readers of this book will have some part of the great pleasure it gave me to read these poems.”—Ellen Gilchrist

New York Times Book Review - Emily Nussbaum

“Over 22 years, Kooser has discovered a startling variety of ways to invert and enliven the vocabulary of romance, finding tender implications in even the mustiest Valentine’s symbols. . . . When it comes to his beloved(s), Kooser has generous eyes, offering always to keep her young. . . . Kooser’s poems do build a frisson, making the most of small moments of intimacy.”—Emily Nussbaum, New York Times Book Review

The Christian Science Monitor - Elizabeth Lund

“The writing in this book is classic Kooser: simple images, down-to-earth language, insight, and uncommonly good sense, all of which combine to produce memorable, resonant endings. . . . The artwork, like the verse, is inviting, warm, and unpretentious.”—Elizabeth Lund, Christian Science Monitor

Booklist - Roy Olsen

“Because Kooser is a master of such unpretentious scene-painting, these are poems of rich, Wordsworthian common feeling. . . . They’ve nearly all appeared in Kooser’s previous collections, but especially as accompanied by Robert Hanna’s drawings . . . they’ve never seemed more like godsends—or valentines!”—Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803218581
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 913,742
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser, Presidential Professor of the University of Nebraska, is former U.S. poet laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. In addition to his many volumes of poetry, he is the author of The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets and coauthor (with Steve Cox) of Writing Brave and Free: Encouraging Words for People Who Want to Start Writing, both available in Bison Books editions.
 
Robert Hanna is a retired architect who spends his time painting, illustrating, and teaching art workshops throughout the Great Plains region.

Good To Know

Kooser revealed some interesting facts about himself in our interview:

"I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a young man, but realized that I'd have to make a living somehow. I tried high school teaching but was incapable of maintaining discipline in the classroom and the students ran right over me. In 1964, after being tossed out of graduate school because I was a completely undisciplined scholar, I went to work at an "entry level" job in a life insurance company and over twenty five years was gradually elevated to a vice presidency.

During those years I wrote every morning from 5:30 till about 7:00. I never saw myself as an insurance executive, but rather as a writer in need of a paying job."

"I love living in rural America, away from the noise and clamor of the city, and I am completely content to go all week without speaking to anyone but my wife and my dog. My wife, Kathleen Rutledge, is the editor of the Lincoln Journal Star, the daily newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska, and she helps keep me up on the news. I rarely leave home unless I can't find a good excuse not to go.

I write and paint and do chores around the farm, and am immensely thankful for every new day."

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Beautiful

    Ted knows what he is doing. I have read all of his poetry and have never been disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    To Be In Love

    If you have ever been in love then you would love this book. The poems are fantastic!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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