Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Does a Poet Laureate Do? Ted Kooser.

 A two term Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006.

Ted Kooser

“Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? 

"After all, there’s a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world. 

"And I’d like a world, wouldn’t you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I’m certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don’t think there could ever be too many poets. 

"By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say ‘We loved the earth but could not stay.”

As far as I'm concerned,
 that is the quote of the century!

In 2005 Mr Kooser launched American Life in Poetry, providing newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems, to help expand the reach of poetry.

And a little bit of poetry . . .

Flying at Night

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like

from: Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985. Copyright 1980.


Ted Kooser:


  1. That is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome. His idea of the place of poetry in life is so great.