Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser served two terms as poet laureate consultant to the Library of Congress, and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his book of poems, Delights & Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004.) He is a retired life insurance executive who lives in the country near the village of Garland, Nebraska.

Mar/Apr 2020

Wooly Caterpillar

By Ted Kooser

I came upon you on a sidewalk, black as a hyphen slowly crossing a page, as if you were trying to connect the last word in October with a word […]

Mar/Apr 2020

Wooly Caterpillar

By Ted Kooser

It was a pleasure to read through the entries for our first nonfiction contest. The essays covered a wide range of subjects, and some of the best functioned on multiple […]

May/June 2019

Raspberry Patch

By Ted Kooser

Summer is in and under and all around each leaf and thorny cane and every weed and stalk of foxtail woven among them, as if this were a tank brim […]

Nov/Dec 2016

In November

By Ted Kooser

The leaves at the tops of the trees are the last to fall. They cling to summer as the first cold winds begin to pinch at them like someone’s fingers […]

Nov/Dec 2016

Locust Trees in Late May

By Ted Kooser

Two of them, sixty feet high, with trunks as big around as fifty-gallon barrels, lean at a corner of the house, sprinkling their tiny green burr-like flowers over the deck […]

Spring 2014

Sundial

By Ted Kooser

Two friends, dead now for many years, bought it for us one Christmas, picked it out of a Crate & Barrel catalog and had it shipped with a little card […]

Fall 2011

Lantern

By Ted Kooser

In the predawn cold and darkness,it was only a pinch of light,not more than a cup of warmth,as a farmer carried it over the snowto the barn where his dozen […]

Fall 2011

In Passing

By Ted Kooser

As if it were waiting for someone, the house faced the road, its door held open by a little bronze dog, the lace curtains at its windows drawn back and […]

Winter 2008

Success

By Ted Kooser

I can feel the thick yellow fat of applause building up in my arteries, friends, yet I go on, a fool for adoration. Do I care that when it sloughs […]

Winter 2008

Splitting an Order

By Ted Kooser

I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half, maybe an ordinary cold roast beef on whole wheat bread, no pickles or onion, keeping his shaky arms […]

Winter 2008

Bad News

By Ted Kooser

Because it arrives while you sleep, it’s the one call you never pick up on the first ring. In that pause between the fourth and what would be the fifth, […]

Winter 2008

Spanish Lessons

By Ted Kooser

My wife moves room to room, touching our humble belongings with a wand of new words— the iron, the coffee pot, the radio— making them notice themselves for the first […]

Winter 2002

Walking on Tiptoe

By Ted Kooser

Long ago we quit lifting our heels like the other—horse, dog, and tiger— though we thrill to their speed as they flee. Even the mouse bearing the great weight of […]

Winter 2002

Praying Hands

By Ted Kooser

There is at least one pair in every thrift shop in America, molded in plastic or plaster of paris and glued to a plaque, or printed in church-pamphlet colors and […]

Summer 1993

Weather Central

By Ted Kooser

Each evening at six-fifteen, the weatherman turns a shoulder to us, extends his hand, and talking softly as a groom, cautiously smooths and strokes the massive, dappled flank of the […]

Summer 1993

Surveyors

By Ted Kooser

They have come from the past, wearing their orange doublets like medieval pages. Seeing through time, they see nothing of us. For them the world is rock upon rock. There […]