Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ted Kooser Gets a Second Term as U.S. Poet Laureate

NOB HILL--Ted Kooser, a Nebraskan whose first term as Poet Laureate was based on the promise to bring poetry out into the public eye, has been selected for a second one-year term. As a part of his effort to make America more aware of the place of poetry in life itself, Kooser has started a website called American Life In Poetry that features a weekly column that can be published by anyone in print or on the web. I have registered to take advantage of this. The column consists of a brief introductory remark by Kooser and a short poem by any number of American poets.

This just started. It is only Column #2. I may be able to get it in a different format, but here is the current column.

American Life in Poetry: Column 002


Many of us have felt helpless when we've tried to assist friends who are dealing with the deaths of loved ones. Here the Kentucky poet and publisher, Jonathan Greene, conveys that feeling of inadequacy in a single sentence. The brevity of the poem reflects the measured and halting speech of people attempting to offer words of condolence:

At the Grave

As Death often
sidelines us

it is good
to contribute

even if so little
as to shovel

some earth
into earth.

Copyright © 2003 by Jonathan Greene. Reprinted by permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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