Delights and Shadows

Delights and Shadows American author 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 po

  • Title: Delights and Shadows
  • Author: Ted Kooser
  • ISBN: 9781556592010
  • Page: 471
  • Format: Paperback
  • American author 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 pegbAmerican author 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 Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance PoetryTed 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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      Ted Kooser

    About Author

    1. Ted Kooser lives in rural Nebraska with his wife, Kathleen, and three dogs He is one of America s most noted poets, having served two terms as U S Poet Laureate and, during the second term, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection, DELIGHTS SHADOWS He is a retired life insurance executive who now teaches part time at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln The school board in Lincoln, Nebraska, recently opened Ted Kooser Elementary School, which Ted says is his greatest honor, among many awards and distinctions He has published twelve collections of poetry and three nonfiction books Two of the latter are books on writing, THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL and WRITING BRAVE AND FREE, and a memoir, LIGHTS ON A GROUND OF DARKNESS all from University of Nebraska Press BAG IN THE WIND from Candlewick is his first children s book, with which he is delighted It s wonderful, Ted said, to be writing for young people I am reinventing myself at age 70.

    One thought on “Delights and Shadows

    1. Were it not for the way you taught me to look at the world, to see the life at play in everything,I would have been lonely forever.This quote, the final few lines from the American Poet Laureate Ted Kooser s emotionally charged poem Mother, works equally well as a depiction of how Kooser himself shows the reader life at play In this Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems, Delights Shadows, we watch life come alive on a grand scale in small observations, and hear the language of the land and [...]

    2. For my second attempt at understanding poetry, I chose to stay home and read an author from my neck of the woods DELIGHTS AND SHADOWS is a beautiful collection of poems that bring normal, everyday objects to life, embedding within them deeper meanings and subtle stories Most of the poems feel almost as if my grandfather were still alive, talking to me, sharing whatever wisdom and insight he had about a particular topic, and this brings me great joy and sorrow The words Ted Kooser winner of the P [...]

    3. Delights and Shadows Ted Kooser s Unerring Observations of Life I wonder how many people I ve looked at all my life and never seen John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our DiscontentDelights Shadows, Ted Kooser, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, Washington, 2004The appearance of this review marks something very new for me That happens to be an acknowledgement that I have and do read poetry, though none of you who believe they know me would have ever thought it and those who do not know me should ever [...]

    4. Ted Kooser is not the kind of poet I normally read I gravitate toward confessional female poets, starting with my obsession with Sylvia Plath in high school However, I find myself turning to Kooser s work again and again His poems are simplistic and graceful, yet brim over with brevity In Delights and Shadows, he writes about ageing and the deaths of his mother and grandmother Domesticity and ordinary objects weigh heavily in Kooser s poetry a button, a glassware set, an elderly man s tattoo My [...]

    5. Pegboard It has been carefully paintedwith the outlines of toolsto show us which belongs where,auger and drawknife,claw hammer and crosscut saw,like the outlines of hands on the wallsof ancient caves in France,painted with soot mixed with spitten thousand years agoin the faltering firelight of time,hands borrowed to work on the worldand never returned.

    6. At first, there seemed to be something missing from these poems clear tropes, specific details, a feeling of a greater whole surrounding each of these small pieces But the quiet genius here came flooding in soon enough, the themes of previous generations dying off and the tide of Father Time coming in for the author, the ambitions of youth giving in to the preciousness of moments and outlooks, the delicate cradling of the place one is in right now I lived in Iowa for my middle and high school ye [...]

    7. Loved it From start to finish I adored this collection of poems It is easy to understand how this poet won the Pulitzer for poetry When it comes to favourite poems, I d be hard pressed to choose because there wasn t one that didn t appeal The imagery and pitch of each poem is perfect.Here are just a couple of lines from a few poems From Old Lilacs this description of horses Their long legs are dusty from standing for monthsin winter s stall, and their eyesare like a cloudy sky seen though bare b [...]

    8. I read his poems, and can t quite figure out how he does it, choosing the exact right words and placing them in the right order, to create such quiet beauty Not all of his poems move me emotionally, but they all are just quietly and calmly gorgeous and restful and peaceful, zen like and meditative Telescope This is the pipe that pierces the dam that holds back the universe, that takes off some of the pressure, keeping the weight of the unknown from breaking through and washing us all down the va [...]

    9. As you can tell from the title, this is a collection of poetry not particularly focused on a topic or form I am reading a lot of Koser this year, and this one won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 Like much of his work, its about rural Nebraska, family, portraiture, landscape, in accessible language, prizing metaphor Think Hugo, Stafford, Wright, Frost, the poetry of place Kooser is a cancer survivor here s one from the collection that pertains to those experiences At the Cancer ClinicShe is being help [...]

    10. Like rime, Kooser s a little like Frost and a little unlike him He is a poet of the prosaic, lifting the ordinary to extraordinary heights before our very eyes A bucket of dishwater, his grandmother s radio, a spider on a gravestone, a jar of buttons Delights in the minutiae of the Midwest, yes, but they resonate and know no borders Even two liners are a wonder StarlightAll night, this soft rain from the distant past.No wonder I sometimes waken as a child.A master of metaphor, he sees one ordina [...]

    11. If the poems in this collection are people, they would be much like Ted Kooser s Mourners here to say goodbye but now they keep saying hello and hello, peering into each other s faces, slow to let go of each other s hands These are twilight poems, written from his heart gone soft and blue with stories , nostalgic, mournful, celebratory and urgent In fact it is the sense of emergency instilled in these poems that had me so transfixed I am in awe of the perfect economy of words, the elegant syntax [...]

    12. At the Cancer ClinicShe is being helped toward the open doorthat leads to the examining roomsby two young women I take to be her sisters.Each bends to the weight of an armand steps with the straight, tough bearingof courage At what must seem to bea great distance, a nurse holds the door,smiling and calling encouragement.How patient she is in the crisp white sailsof her clothes The sick womanpeers from under her funny knit capto watch each foot swing scuffling forwardand take its turn under her w [...]

    13. Every poem in this collection by Nobel Laureate Ted Kooser captures such multi sensory clarity, it felt like being transported in time and place Only the very best of poetry does this so well He creates visual imagery ala Ansel Adams or a painter with the technical skill of Norman Rockwell He captures moments in words as adeptly as a skilled, veteran novelist My bookshelves are lonely without a copy of Delights and Shadows I m very eager to check out the rest of his work.

    14. Have you ever seen the film Dark City I m going to make a very odd analogy.In that film, a group of awesomely misguided aliens nicknamed The Strangers steal a city s worth of human subjects and move them into their own, separate sort of universe in order to study them Each night, The Strangers wipe the memories of these humans and exchange memories and pasts between people A born store clerk wakes up one day and assumes the position of a blue blood millionaire Buildings rise and fall every night [...]

    15. Kooser s poetry reminds me of Billy Collins in two respects First of all, it isn t difficult it should be pretty easy to grasp, even for those who don t read much poetry And like Collins, Kooser is a master of finding beauty and insight in the ordinary His outlook is rural that Collins Kooser is from Nebraska , and his poetry is somber an awareness of our mortality is never far below the surface.But enough comparisons this is beautiful poetry I ll quote a couple of the poems here is the ending [...]

    16. I am now officially addicted to his stuff Certain of his poems feel like strange artifacts come upon after long digging I want to hold them up to the light and read out their inscriptions, then turn to my dusty neighbor to give the English translation Here s one such one After YearsToday, from a distance, I saw youwalking away, and without a soundthe glittering face of a glacierslid into the sea An ancient oakfell in the Cumberlands, holding onlya handful of leaves, and an old womanscattering co [...]

    17. There is not one wasted word within the covers of Kooser s Pulitzer Awarded volume, his epigraph included The Sailor cannot see the North but knows the Needle can This quote from a letter of E Dickinson speaks of the power and necessity of metaphor It is fitting because Kooser s poetry is a comprehensible art, meant to help his readers experience the world however mundane differently You will never look at lilacs, or your hands as they knot your neck tie, the same way You will revisit these poem [...]

    18. Kooser s powers of observation are amazing, as is his ability to concisely convey wonder, emotion, amusement, and affection for the small details of the world around him that happen to touch on universal shared experience and feeling These are luminous poems, deceptively simple but intensely well crafted, without a wrong note or an extra word No wonder he won the Pulitzer Prize for this A must read, and thoroughly accessible while still being deep and thought provoking.

    19. He s a beautiful writer, of the earth and metaphysical, too All night, this soft rain from the distant past No wonder I sometimes waken as a child.

    20. Pleasant, natural, uncomplicated poems I have a feeling Ted Kooser is a thoroughly charming and kind man, the sort of person you d like to have over for dinner and stay talking with you long past an acceptable hour.Favorite in this collection Tectonics In only a few monthsthere will begin to be fissuresin what we remember,and within a year or two,the facts break apartone from anotherand slowly begin to shiftand turn, grinding,pushing up over each otheruntil their shapeshave been changedand the p [...]

    21. Ted Kooser is highly recommended among my friends and this book I borrowed to see what he was all about Besides Neruda and whatever was assigned in High School or College, I don t consider myself well read in poetry at all This was a nice read Some of the metaphors were amazing to me Three poems stuck out as masterpieces, but the rest I didn t find as stimulating I would have been much impressed if they all read with the same intensity In all, I really enjoyed this book and it gave me one book [...]

    22. Kooser s poetry is so quiet that it sneaks up on you with how good it is There are no outlandish metaphors here, just ones that fit His endings don t drive his point home with that free verse imitation of the Shakespearean couplet, just a scene or comment that connects everything What really impresses me, though, is his use of titles I would sometimes forget the title of the poem as I was reading it, then go back and see it, only to have the entire poem make sense at that point That s a trick mo [...]

    23. This was just fantastic I read a lot of poetry and I rate my favorites Kooser is 1A and Billy Collins is 1B Kooser poems are like word snapshots that capture a moment of life and remind you of the intensity, depth, and value of beling alive This is a must read book for poets and even people who think they hate poetry will like this book.

    24. Kooser s work seems very simplistic, but that is also part of his appeal These poems are lovely and descript He paints a vivid landscape with each window he opens.

    25. Modern PoetryModern poetryis simply regular sentences withcreativelinebreaks.I find itdulland pretentiousand utterlyforgettable.

    26. Delights and Shadows is Ted Kooser s Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poetry published in 2004 It is an outstanding work of poetry in its immediate accessibility, and the beckoning for a return created by the poems Kooser trusts the power of language, and his writing does not call attention to himself as much as the subject Yet you leave the book feeling like you ve met a friend who just shared some great stories with you.The book is broken into four sections, but I did not find them highlig [...]

    27. When spring came this year it brought nostalgia, first in a book of essays about growing up in the South and here by a poet who finds illumination in the commonplace Ted Kooser lives in and writes abut Nebraska The rural environments and small town atmospheres he writes about raise great choirs of memories in me because he writes about the kind of world I knew as a child and young man And I know that s one of the reasons I like his poetry so much But he also favors a forceful metaphor and simile [...]

    28. This volume of Kooser s poems won the Pulitzer Prize a couple of years ago and it is an enjoyable, accessible work of reflection on age and therefore time and meaning I read the first four or five poems to my girlfriend as we sat in a Rockport seafood luncheon place, fried shrimp baskets and canned beverages on red and white plastic table cloths And the poems worked At what must seem to be a great distance, a nurse holds the door, smiling and calling encouragement How patient she is in the crisp [...]

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