Thursday, May 03, 2012

A poem by Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser is one of my favorite poets. He is a master at extracting the extraordinary from out of the ordinary. He is a verbal artist, crafting still lifes and capturing gesture with words. Here, as in many great poems, Kooser takes two things, a spiral notebook and growing old, and blends them together into one theme and comes up with a masterful and lasting work of art.

A Spiral Notebook

     by Ted Kooser

The bright wire rolls like a porpoise
in and out of the calm blue sea
of the cover, or perhaps like a sleeper
twisting in and out of his dreams,
for it could hold a record of dreams
if you wanted to buy it for that
though it seems to be meant for
more serious work, with its
college-ruled lines and its cover
that states in emphatic white letters,
a part of growing old is no longer
to have five subjects, each
demanding an equal share of attention,
set apart by brown cardboard dividers,
but instead to stand in a drugstore
and hang on to one subject
a little too long, like this notebook
you weigh in your hands, passing
your fingers over its surfaces
as if it were some kind of wonder.

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