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Author: KOOSER, TED
Matches Found: 384


Kooser, Ted    Poet's Biography
384 poems available by this author


A BIRTHDAY CARD    Poem Text    
First Line: In her eighties now, and weak and ill
Subject(s): Aunts; Sickness; Birthdays; Illness


A BLIND WOMAN    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: She had turned her face up into
Subject(s): Blindness; Visually Handicapped


A BUFFALO SKULL    Poem Text    
First Line: No fine white bone-sheen now
Subject(s): Skulls


A CHILD'S GRAVE MARKER    Poem Text    
First Line: A small block of granite
Subject(s): Graves; Tombs; Tombstones


A DEATH AT THE OFFICE    Poem Text    
First Line: The news goes desk to desk
Subject(s): Death; Office Employees; Dead, The; Clerks


A DRIVE IN THE COUNTRY    Poem Text    
First Line: In the ditch by the dirt back road
Subject(s): Country Life; Automobile Drivers


A FENCECROW IN EARLY MARCH    Poem Text    
First Line: The last snowdrifts
Subject(s): Winter; Farm Life; Fences; Agriculture; Farmers


A GHOST STORY    Poem Text    
First Line: Her life was plain, her death
Subject(s): Death - Children; Roses; Death - Babies


A GLIMPSE OF THE ETERNAL    Poem Text    
First Line: Just now, / a sparrow lighted
Subject(s): Sparrows


A HAPPY BIRTHDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: This evening, I sat by an open window
Subject(s): Birthdays


A LETTER IN OCTOBER    Poem Text    
First Line: Dawn comes later and later now
Subject(s): Autumn; Time; Fall


A PLACE IN KANSAS    Poem Text    
First Line: Somewhere in kansas, a friend found
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


A ROOM IN THE PAST    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: It's a kitchen. Its curtains fill
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives


A SPIRAL NOTEBOOK    Poem Text    
First Line: The bright wire rolls like a porpoise
Subject(s): Notebooks


ABANDONED FARMHOUSE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
Subject(s): Houses, Deserted


ABANDONED FARMHOUSE       
First Line: He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
Last Line: A rusty tractor with a broken plow, %a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say


ABANDONED STONE SCHOOLHOUSE IN THE NEBRASKA SANDHILLS       
First Line: These square stone walls are of sand, too
Last Line: As it eases along through the sand, %rubbing away at our names and our voices


ACCORDING TO WEATHER REPORTS       


ACROSS THE POND       
First Line: The dead tree stands out in front


AFTER BURNING OFF THE GARDEN FOR SPRING       
First Line: This morning, the garden's black hair
Last Line: Of roots, its black leather jacket %studded with nuggets of ice


AFTER THE POETRY READING       
First Line: Young men fold up and carry
Last Line: Is nearby, and the little hens jostle together


AFTER YEARS    Poem Text    
First Line: Today, from a distance, I saw you
Subject(s): Absence; Separation; Isolation


AFTER YEARS       
First Line: Today, from a distance, I saw you
Last Line: Of my heart with no one to tell


AFTERLIFE       
First Line: It will be february there
Last Line: Then, behind us, trombones: %the horns of the tugs %turning our great gray ship %back into the mist


AN EMPTY PLACE    Poem Text    
First Line: There is nothing for death
Subject(s): Houses, Deserted


AN EPIPHANY    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: I have seen the brown recluse spider
Subject(s): Spiders


ANOTHER STORY       
First Line: In a country churchyard, two workman
Last Line: At intervals each touched the empty bell


APPLESAUCE       
First Line: I likeed how the starry blue lid %of that saucepan lifted and puffed
Last Line: The only boats under sail %for at least two thousand miles


AS THE NEWS OF THE STORM GOT OUT       


AS THE PRESIDENT SPOKE       


AT MIDNIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Somewhere in the night
Last Line: About his shoulders
Subject(s): Thought; Old Age; Sunrise; Mallards; Drakes


AT MIDNIGHT       
First Line: Somewhere in the night


AT NIGHTFALL       
First Line: In feathers the color of dusk, a swallow


AT THE BAIT STAND       
First Line: Part barn, part boxcar, part of a chicken shed


AT THE CANCER CLINIC    Poem Text    
First Line: She is being helped toward the open door
Subject(s): Cancer (disease); Hospitals


AT THE CANCER CLINIC       
First Line: She is being helped toward the open door
Last Line: And all the shuffling magazines grow still


AT THE CENTER       
First Line: In kansas, on top


AT THE COUNTY MUSEUM       
First Line: Blacker than black, the lacquered horse-drawn hearse
Last Line: Helped to soften the nearness of death


AT THE END OF THE WEEKEND       
First Line: It is sunday afternoon, %and I suddenly miss
Last Line: Daring to fall through the distance, %then climbing, full throttle, away


AT THE OFFICE EARLY       
First Line: Rain has beaded the panes %of my office windows
Last Line: Of banks righting themselves, %the underpaid tellers %counting thier nickles and dimes


AT THE WELCOME CENTER       
First Line: The rest stop road map, fading a little
Last Line: Then bending again. Here I am, here, %reading an arrow from god


AUGUST NIGHT       
First Line: High in the trees, cicadas weave


AUNT MILDRED       
First Line: After she'd cooked and then eaten the meat
Last Line: Straightened her spine, and wrote a small %but generous letter to the world


AUTO SALVAGE    Poem Text    
First Line: In that muddy junkyard, wrecks were stacked
Subject(s): Junk & Junkyards


BACK DOOR       
First Line: The door through which we step out
Last Line: Stepping in through the back garden gate, %pausing to pick the few roses


BALLAD OF JIM HIATT       
First Line: Jim hiatt was sort of a quiet man
Last Line: Not of jim, but the dummy, you see


BANK FISHING FOR BLUEGILLS       
First Line: A breeze nudges the empty aluminum boat
Last Line: And tethered only gently to this world


BARN OWL    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: High in the chaffy
Subject(s): Owls


BARN OWL       
First Line: High in the chaffy, taffy-colored haze
Last Line: The size of a finger ring, to hold you %always, plumpest sweetheart mouse of mine


BARN OWL       
First Line: There is something about an old barn


BASEBALL       
First Line: The batter pushes his way through the light
Last Line: It will be days before we hear another


BEADED PURSE       
First Line: Dressed in his church suit, and under
Last Line: With his rich and famous daughter


BEER BOTTLE    Poem Text    
First Line: In the burned- / out highway
Subject(s): Bottles


BIKER       
First Line: Pulling away from a stoplight
Last Line: And shrinks out of the way


BIRTHDAY CARD       
First Line: In her eighties now, and weak and ill


BIRTHDAY POEM       
First Line: Just past dawn, the sun stands
Last Line: Swinging the little tin bell %of my name


BLIND WOMAN       
First Line: She had turned her face up into
Last Line: Through the bars, poking and prodding, %while the world cowered back in a corner


BOARDING HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: The blind man draws his curtains for the night
Subject(s): Hotels; Inns; Innskeepers; Motels; Boarding Houses


BOARDING HOUSE       
First Line: The blind man draws his curtains for the night
Last Line: Under the blind man's door, and all is right
Subject(s): Hotels


BOX OF PASTELS       
First Line: I once held on my knees a simple wooden box
Last Line: And left there with light on the tips of my fingers


BUFFALO SKULL       
First Line: No fine white bone-sheen now
Subject(s): Skulls


CAMERA    Poem Text    
First Line: It's an old box camera / a brownie, the color and shape
Last Line: This little battery without a spark
Subject(s): Cameras; Poetry & Poets


CAMERA       
First Line: It's an old box camera %a brownie, the color and shape
Last Line: All these have leaked away, %leaving this shell %this little battery without a spark
Subject(s): Cameras; Poetry And Poets


CAROUSEL GOAT IN THE CIRCUS MUSEUM       
First Line: No pony who smartly lifts ons hoof


CARP       
First Line: On the river bottom


CARRIE    Poem Text    
First Line: There's never an end to dust
Subject(s): Dust


CARRIE       
First Line: There's never an end to dust
Last Line: There is never an end to it
Subject(s): Dust


CASTING REELS    Poem Text    
First Line: You find them at flea markets
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Anglers


CASTING REELS       
First Line: You find them at flea markets
Last Line: They are the ones who got away


CENTRAL    Poem Text    
First Line: As fine a piece of furniture / as any steinway, all oak
Last Line: Hello? Is there anyone there?
Subject(s): Telephones


CENTRAL       
First Line: As fine a piece of furniture %as any steinway, all oak
Last Line: Of pink rubber. 'central,' she'd say %to the darkness, 'this is central. %hello? Is there anyone the
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets


CHILD'S GRAVE MARKER       
First Line: A small block of granite
Subject(s): Graves


CHINA PAINTERS       
First Line: They have set aside their black tin boxes
Last Line: And the world had been nothing but flowers


CHOCOLATE CHECKERS       
First Line: In a tiny green park, chopped out
Last Line: On an imported italian marble table %with neatly set black-and-white tiles


CHRISTMAS MAIL    Poem Text    
First Line: Cards in each mailbox
Subject(s): Christmas Cards


CITY BUS       
First Line: This one has been painted to look like
Last Line: Of a woman who falls to one knee


CITY LIMITS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Here on the west edge, the town turned its back on the west
Subject(s): Railroads; Travel; West (u.s.); Railways; Trains; Journeys; Trips; Southwest; Pacific States


CITY LIMITS       
First Line: Here on the west edge, the town turned its back on the west
Last Line: A switch with red eyes wipes its mouth with a sleeve
Subject(s): Railroads; Travel; West (u.s.)


CLEANING A BASS       
First Line: She put it on the chopping block


CORN WAS AT TWELVE CENTS A BUSHEL       


COSMETICS DEPARTMENT       
First Line: A fragrance heavy as dust, and two young women
Last Line: And the warm wine brimming


COURTHOUSE LEDGER       
First Line: These ink strokes, like wisps of brown hair
Last Line: By the heels of a thousand hands


CREAMED CORN       
First Line: The jamaicans who came to can corn
Last Line: Our ignorance spoils the creamed corn


DADDY LONGLEGS    Poem Text    
First Line: Here, on fine long legs springy as steel
Subject(s): Spiders


DADDY LONGLEGS       
First Line: Here, on fine long legs springy as steel


DEATH AT THE OFFICE       
First Line: The news goes desk to desk
Last Line: The scribbles from her calendar
Subject(s): Death; Office Employees


DECEMBER .30    Poem Text    
First Line: Two degrees and clear
Last Line: Their leafy, breezy dreams of home
Subject(s): Two Degrees And Clea


DECK OF PORNOGRAPHIC PLAYING CARDS       
First Line: We were ten or eleven, my friend and I
Last Line: But we were already dying inside


DECORATION DAY       
First Line: It takes the hard work


DEPENDING WHERE ON THE PLAINS       


DEPRESSION GLASS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: It seemed those rose-pink dishes
Subject(s): Dishes


DEPRESSION GLASS       
First Line: It seemed those rose-pink dishes
Last Line: For each five pounds of flour


DIFFICULT QUESTIONS       
First Line: Deep cold that night, and at the window
Last Line: That he had been filling with time


DISHWATER    Poem Text    
First Line: Slap of the screen door, flat knock
Subject(s): Grandparents; Farm Life; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Agriculture; Farmers


DISHWATER       
First Line: Slap of the screen door, flat knock
Last Line: With an empty dishpan swinging at one end


DITCH-BURNING IN FEBRUARY       
First Line: Driving, I came to a mile of fire
Last Line: I watched him go east in the mirror, %and he watched me go west and away


EARLY BIRD       
First Line: Still dark, and raining hard %on a cold may morning
Last Line: And letting us drink


EARLY IN THE EVENING       


EASTERN MEADOWLARK       
First Line: There are days when wherever you look


EIGHTEEN EIGHTY-EIGHT, A THURSDAY       


ELEGY       
First Line: In summer, after the spring floods
Last Line: Across the water, long-legged and light %as a breath


EMPTY SHOTGUN SHELL       
First Line: It's a handsome thing


EPIPHANY       
First Line: I have seen the brown recluse spider
Last Line: She might idly have twisted, speaker to me, %and the legs of the beetle were broken


ETUDE    Poem Text    
First Line: I have been watching a great blue heron
Subject(s): Herons


ETUDE       
First Line: I have been watching a great blue heron
Last Line: He would spear the whole world if he could, %toss it and swallow it live


FAN IN THE WINDOW       
First Line: It is september, and a cool breeze


FATHER    Poem Text    
First Line: You spent fifty-five years
Subject(s): Fathers; Retail Trade; Stores; Shops; Shopkeepers


FATHER       
First Line: You spent fifty-five years
Last Line: We laughed till we cried
Subject(s): Fathers; Retail Trade


FATHER       
First Line: Today you would be ninety-seven
Last Line: All over iowa, still welcoming you


FATHER AND I HAD PULLED THE PUMP UP       


FATHER HAD PLOWED A FIRE-GUARD       


FATHER TURNED OVER THE WAGON       


FATHER WAS ILL WITH THE MUMPS       


FENCEROW IN EARLY MARCH       
First Line: The last snowdrifts


FINDING       
First Line: One of my dogs has brought the foreleg of a deer
Last Line: And three of us can hear that wire still thrumming


FIREFLIES       
First Line: The cricket's pocket knife is bent
Last Line: Its planking of breeze, and on it %a women stands snapping the shade %of a lantern, signaling someon


FIRST SNOW    Poem Text    
First Line: The old black dog comes in one evening
Subject(s): Snow; Dogs; Country Life


FIRST THING WE NOTICED THAT DAY       


FIVE FINGER EXERCISE       
First Line: All day at home, alone in the winter half-light
Last Line: And it frightened them, and off they flew together


FLEA MARKET       
First Line: That's the sun over there
Last Line: Blow out rings of stars


FLOW BLUE CHINA       
First Line: No real flowers would give of themselves
Last Line: I lift this cup to her. Flow, blue


FLYING AT NIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations
Subject(s): Air Travel


FLYING AT NIGHT       
First Line: Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations
Last Line: All night, the cities, like shimmering novas, %tug with bright streets at lonely lights like this
Subject(s): Air Travel


FOR A FRIEND       
First Line: Late november, driving to wichita


FOR JEFF       
First Line: On the morning of your wedding
Last Line: Then shuddered and lifted itself, %and shook off its own surprise


FOR YOU, FRIEND    Poem Text    
First Line: This valentine's day, I intend to stand
Subject(s): Time


FORT ROBINSON    Poem Text    
First Line: When I visited fort robinson
Subject(s): Nature


FORT ROBINSON       
First Line: When I visited fort robinson
Last Line: The cheyenne climbed that winter, fleeing
Subject(s): Nature


FOUR CIVIL WAR PAINTINGS BY WINSLOW HOMER       
First Line: Sharpshooter' a union sniper in a tree
Subject(s): Homer, Winslow (1836-1910)


FOUR SECRETARIES       
First Line: All through the day I hear or overhear
Last Line: Is hurt, and they hear her calling %and gather about her to cry


GARAGE SALE       
First Line: All of your husband's shirts and slacks
Last Line: I walk so empty-handed to my car


GENUINE POEM, FOUNDED ... STORY CITY IOWA       
First Line: If you strike
Subject(s): Sports


GERONIMO'S MIRROR       
First Line: That flash from a distant hillside


GHOST STORY       
First Line: Her life was plain, her death
Last Line: Seventy years her grave %gave off the scent of roses


GIANT SLIDE       
First Line: Beside the highway, the giant slide


GILBERT STUART PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON       
First Line: You know it as well as the back of your hand
Last Line: Before us always, he who could never tell a lie %kept his jaws closed on the truth


GLIMPSE OF THE ETERNAL       
First Line: Just now, %a sparrow lighted
Last Line: Of yellow pollen %flew away


GOLDFISH FLOATS TO THE TOP OF HIS LIFE       
Last Line: They all would prefer to have died in their sleep
Subject(s): Business; Death


GOOD-BYE       
First Line: You lean with one arm out


GOOD-BYE HANDSHAKE       
First Line: Though you and the nursing home
Last Line: Which has held nearly everything once %and has squeezed it shyly and politely


GRASSHOPPERS    Poem Text    
First Line: This year they are exactly the size
Subject(s): Grasshoppers


GRASSHOPPERS       
First Line: This year they are exactly the size
Last Line: Slapping the grass like drops of rain


GREAT GRANDPARENTS       
First Line: As small children, we were taken to meet them
Last Line: Their shirt cuffs yellow, smoky old wood stoves %smoldering somewhere under their clothes


GREAT PLAINS IN WINTER    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Great Plains (united States); Winter


GRIM REAPER       
First Line: That was just a good story, that business
Last Line: So that all of your heat leaks out, %and the pipes freeze


GYROSCOPE       
First Line: I place this within the first order
Last Line: To balance so lightly in our hands


HANDS IN THE WIND       
First Line: Today I drove through a cloud of leaves,
Last Line: They'd thought I was somebody else.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY       
First Line: This evening, I sat by an open window
Last Line: With the pale gray ghost of my hand


HATCH OF FLIES       
First Line: There are more than a hundred
Last Line: Under the male, the male astounded, %touching his eyes with his tiny hands


HEART OF GOLD       
First Line: It's an old beer bottle
Last Line: Now, from the wet formica tabletop, %it lifts its sweet old mouth to yours


HEART PATIENT       
First Line: He lowers his voice when he mentions it


HIGHWAY 30    Poem Text    
First Line: At two in the morning, when the moon
Subject(s): Roads; Paths; Trails


HOBO JUNGLE       
First Line: A fat brown car seat, mushy with rain


HOME MEDICAL DICTIONARY       
First Line: This is not so much a dictionary
Last Line: Is finally channeled and dammed


HOME STORAGE BARNS       
First Line: They're easy to see from the freeway
Last Line: (with an x of white boards on the door %as if marking a spot for the heart


HORSE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: In its stall stands the 19th century
Subject(s): Horses


HORSE       
First Line: In its stall stands the 19th century
Last Line: Of a hard, dirty army of hooves


HORTICULTURE    Poem Text    
First Line: One of my mother's moser uncles
Last Line: Being invited to their house to tasted a little slice of miracle
Subject(s): Horticulture; Iowa


HORTICULTURE       
First Line: One of my mother's moser uncles
Last Line: To taste a little slice of miracle
Subject(s): Horticulture; Iowa


HOW THE GOOD LORD, IN HIS       


HOW TO FORETELL A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Rain always follows the cattle
Subject(s): Weather


HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB WINE    Poem Text    
First Line: Go to the patch some afternoon / in early summer, fuzzy with beer
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


HOW TO MAKE RHUBARB WINE       
First Line: Go to the patch some afternoon %in early summer, fuzzy with beer
Last Line: Bottled and ready for the years, %and smile. You've done it awfully well
Subject(s): Farm Life


I DIDN'T LIKE OUR TEACHER       


I DON'T REMEMBER THE NAME       


I HAD BEEN TO THE SCHOOLHOUSE       


I REMEMBER HOW IN THAT WIND       


I SPENT THAT NIGHT IN A SHED       


I WAS AN OHIO GIRL       


I WAS EMBARRASSED ALL RIGHT       


I WAS TEACHING IN KANSAS       


ICE CAVE       
First Line: That hill's hard core of yellow stone held steady at 43 degrees
Last Line: They'd walk downhill, stiff-legged from sitting, hungry for supper


IN A COUNTRY CEMETERY IN IOWA FOR JAMES HEARST       
First Line: Someone's been up here nights
Last Line: Just passing through, you'd say %it looks like foolishness


IN A KITCHEN GARDEN       
First Line: The seasons have learned to do lovely things
Last Line: The cabbage leaves for evelyn penfield, %can make a kind of music there


IN ALL MY YEARS I NEVER SAW       


IN AN OLD APPLE ORCHARD    Poem Text    
First Line: The wind's an old man
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


IN AN OLD APPLE ORCHARD       
First Line: The wind's an old man
Last Line: You can see him %still rolling about in his sleep
Subject(s): Farm Life


IN JANUARY       
First Line: Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
Last Line: The bigger the window, the more it trembles


IN JANUARY, 1962    Poem Text    
First Line: With his hat on the table before him
Last Line: Near the soft gray felt hat on the table
Subject(s): Grandparents; Death; Winter; Country Life; Old Age


IN JANUARY, 1962       
First Line: With his hat on the table before him
Last Line: Those hard old hands which lay curled and still %near the soft gray felt hat on the table
Subject(s): Poetry And Poets


IN LATE SPRING       
First Line: One of the national guard's f-4 jet fighters
Last Line: And brushes the dust from his satin sleeves


IN PASSING    Poem Text    
First Line: From a half block off I see you coming,
Subject(s): Hope; Identity; Memory; Optimism


IN PASSING       
First Line: From a half block off I see you coming
Last Line: But not touching. I could not let you know %that I've forgotten, and yet you know


IN THE ALLEY    Poem Text    
First Line: N the alley behind the florist's shop
Subject(s): Refuse And Refuse Removal; Language; Words; Vocabulary


IN THE BASEMENT OF THE GOODWILL STORE    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: In musty light, in the thin brown air
Subject(s): Alienation (social Psychology); Dissenters; Exiles; Marginality, Social; Estrangement; Outcasts


IN THE BASEMENT OF THE GOODWILL STORE       
First Line: In musty light, in the thin brown air
Subject(s): Alienation (social Psychology); Dissenters; Exiles; Marginality, Social


IN THE CORNERS OF FIELDS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Something is calling to me
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


IN THE CORNERS OF FIELDS       
First Line: Something is calling to me
Last Line: So sure of its life %that it peacefully opens its wings
Subject(s): Farm Life


IN THE HALL OF BONES       
First Line: Here we store the reassembled
Last Line: In which once throbbed a heart %made sad by brooding on its shadow


INDIANS WERE TOO SMART       


INTERCHANGE       
First Line: A whistling knot of highway
Last Line: Bends over its long legs, fishing %for nothing, for nothing at all.


JACQUARD SHAWL       
First Line: A pattern of curly acanthus leaves
Last Line: Into the faintly bleating, barking loom


JANUARY 19TH - STILL THAWING, BREEZY    Poem Text    
First Line: Arthritic and weak, my old dog, hattie
Subject(s): January


JANUARY 19TH - STILL THAWING, BREEZY       
First Line: Arthritic and weak, my old dog, hattie
Last Line: At the spot that leads out of the world
Subject(s): January


JANUARY 27TH -- THIRTY-FOUR DEGREES AND CLEAR       
First Line: Fifty or sixty small gray birds with crests
Last Line: As they sprinkled their breathtaking silence %into another bare tree


JAR OF BUTTONS       
First Line: This is a core sample
Last Line: Made small but important repairs


JUST NOW    Poem Text    
First Line: Just now, if I look back down
Subject(s): Memory


JUST NOW       
Subject(s): Memory


JUST NOW       
First Line: Just now, if I look back down
Subject(s): Memory


LADDER       
First Line: Against the low roof of a house


LAST TOMATO       
First Line: It is hard for an old man not to make too much
Last Line: Their summer brightness, burning, burning


LATE FEBRUARY    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The first warm day,
Subject(s): Country Life; Winter


LATE LIGHTS IN MINNESOTA       
First Line: At the end of a freight train rolling away
Last Line: Among the red eyes of her cats


LATVIAN NEIGHBORHOOD       
First Line: Along this street


LAUNDRY       
First Line: A pink house trailer


LETTER       
First Line: I have tried a dozen ways


LETTER IN OCTOBER       
First Line: Dawn comes later and later now
Last Line: Who only wished to keep looking out, %must now keep looking in


LINCOLN, NEBRASKA       
First Line: Rainy today in this city
Last Line: Holds out the cautious welcome %of an embassy


LITTLE HATS       
First Line: I saw the old men hanging down under their little hats
Last Line: Streamlined and swift, their engines idling


LOBOCRASPIS GRISEIFUSA    Poem Text    
First Line: This is the tiny moth that lives on tears
Subject(s): Moths


LOBOCRASPIS GRISEIFUSA       
First Line: Whis is the tiny moth who lives ontears
Last Line: Rubbing the dust of his wings from your eyes


LOIS MAE ROYCE WAS TEACHING       


LOST FORGE       
First Line: It stood somewhere in summer
Last Line: It wanted to tell me


LUNCH HOUR       
First Line: She sits in a spot of sun on a park bench
Last Line: Over the city, into the racing clouds


MAN WHO MEASURES HIMSELF AGAINST MONEY       


MEMORY    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Spinning up dust and
Subject(s): Memory; Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


MEMORY       
First Line: Spinning up dust and cornshucks
Last Line: And there at its tip was the nib of a pen


MONDAY IN MAY       
First Line: It rained all weekend


MOTHER    Poem Text    
First Line: Mid april already, and the wild plums
Subject(s): Death - Mothers; Dead, The


MOTHER       
First Line: Mid april already, and the wild plums
Last Line: I would have to be lonely forever


MOURNERS       
First Line: After the funeral, the mourners gather
Last Line: Slow to let go of each other's hands


MOUSE       
First Line: On the floor of a parking garage


MOUSE ON THE PIANO       
First Line: Hers (or is it his?)is a new
Last Line: Fall all night like moonbeams %through the lifting dust


MUSHROOM HUNTERS       
First Line: In the green cathedral of nettles, %in the incense of dew, in the hymn
Last Line: As if they'd been placed there to wait %for the flames of our hands


MY GRANDFATHER DYING    Poem Text    
First Line: I could see bruises or shadows
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives


MY GRANDFATHER DYING       
First Line: I could see bruises or shadows
Subject(s): Family Life


MY HENRY WAS CUTTING ICE       


MY MAIDEN NAME WAS HANNA       


MYRTLE       
First Line: Wearing her yellow rubber slicker


NECKTIE       
First Line: His hands fluttered like birds
Last Line: To himself with both hands


NEW CAP       
First Line: Brown corduroy, %the earflaps tied on top
Last Line: The cap or he, %might blow away


NEW MOON    Poem Text    
First Line: How much it must bear on its back
Subject(s): Moon


NEW MOON       
First Line: How much it must bear on its back
Last Line: May I smile on the world like the moon


NIGHT CLASS       
First Line: An autumn evening, dry leaves
Last Line: The left one, in the hollow there %through which a pale light glows


NOCTURNE       
First Line: On the old man's face
Last Line: The wings fan out and leave a trace of dust %on the cooling,moist glass of the face


NORTH OF ALLIANCE    Poem Text    
First Line: This is an empty house; not a stick
Subject(s): Houses, Deserted


NOVEMBER DAWN       
First Line: First light a six, and sounds that have all night


OCEANS OF FUN       
First Line: A man on his back comes bumping down
Last Line: To whitecaps, bending the manicured grasses- %at more than a thousand miles an hour


OLD CEMETERY       
First Line: Somebody has been here this morning
Last Line: That leads nowhere the dead want to go


OLD DOG IN MARCH       
First Line: From a cold stone stoop
Last Line: And frosty muzzle, %he sips the cool, delicious, %richly storied wind


OLD LILACS       
First Line: Through early april cold
Last Line: Among them, breathing


OLD PEOPLE       
First Line: Pantcuffs rolled, and in old shoes
Last Line: Letting their eyes adjust to the future


ON THE ROAD       
First Line: By the toe of my boot
Last Line: Put it back and keep walking
Variant Title(s): Sixty-first Birthda


ONCOLOGY WAITING ROOM       
First Line: They push their fingers into the cold trickle
Last Line: Then place it gray and useless on a chair


ONE MAN WHO WAS LOST THAT DAY       


ONE OF THE HOLVERSON BOYS       


ONE OF THE OLDER BOYS DARED       


ONION WOMAN       
First Line: All of the clothes she owns


OSAGE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Imagine a wood
Subject(s): Osage Wood


PAST       
First Line: What we remember of it
Last Line: In what we have so carefully %created and directed


PASTURE TREES       
First Line: Generations of cows, long gone to market
Last Line: To eat the very trees that gave them shade


PATCH OF SUNLIGHT       
First Line: Over the old dog's eye


PEARL       
First Line: Elkader, iowa, a morning in march
Last Line: The sum of the spoons in the kitchen drawer


PEELING A POTATOE       
First Line: Pablo casals should see me now
Last Line: The light in my hair. Inspiration %trickles over my handsome old hands


PEGBOARD       
First Line: It has been carefully painted
Last Line: And never returned


PITCH       
First Line: Tight on the fat man's wrist


PLACE IN KANSAS       
First Line: Somewhere in kansas, a friend found
Last Line: It's like that in kansas, forever
Subject(s): Farm Life


POCKET POEM    Poem Text    
First Line: If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips


POCKET POEM       
First Line: If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
Subject(s): Travel


POEM BEFORE BREAKFAST    Poem Text    
First Line: A small brown bird flies toward me
Subject(s): Birds; Morning


POEM BEFORE BREAKFAST       
First Line: A small brown bird flies toward me
Last Line: Borne skillfully over the water, %and I blessed to recive itt


POEM FOR MY WIFE       
First Line: The hog-nosed snake, when playing dead
Last Line: Please flip me once, like the hog-nosed snake


POETRY READING       
First Line: Once you were young along a river, tree to tree
Last Line: Turning your better eye down to the work %of eating your words as you go


POINT OF VIEW       
First Line: Not all of the raindrops are at rest
Last Line: Their m muscular bodies fiercely shining


PORCH SWING IN SEPTEMBER    Poem Text    
First Line: The porch swing hangs fixed in a morning sun
Subject(s): Transience; Impermanence


PORCH SWING IN SEPTEMBER       


PRAYING HANDS       
First Line: There is at least one pair
Last Line: As it rests between flowers


QUARTER MOON JUST BEFORE DAWN       
First Line: There's sun on the moon's back


RACK OF TIRES       
First Line: On a rainbow of oil-stains in front of the goodyear store stand the
Last Line: Spring, to lash out snapping at the waiting road


RAINY MORNING       
First Line: A young woman in a wheelchair
Last Line: While the wind turns the pages of rain


RIDE       
First Line: High in the night we rock, we rock in the stars


RIDING THE BUS IN MIDWINTER    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: If a barn could loosen itself
Subject(s): Buses; Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


ROADSIDE SHRINE IN KANSAS       
First Line: Sunk into the earth


ROOM IN THE PAST       
First Line: It's a kitchen. Its curtains fill
Subject(s): Family Life


SALESMAN       
First Line: Today he's wearing his vinyl shoes
Last Line: Then crawls in under the basement steps, %making the jingle of coin with its tags
Subject(s): Salespersons


SCREECH OWL    Poem Text    
First Line: All night each reedy whinny
Subject(s): Owls


SCREECH OWL       
First Line: All night each reedy whinny
Last Line: It calls out again and again


SEARCHING PARTIES STARTED OUT       


SEASONED MARRIAGE       
First Line: Two-thirty a.M. A pale, icy glow
Last Line: Has passed between us, nor need pass


SELECTING A READER    Poem Text    
First Line: First, I would have her be beautiful,
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


SELECTING A READER       
First Line: First, I would have her be beautiful
Last Line: For that kind of money, I can get %my raincoat cleaned.' and she will


SELF-PORTRAIT AT THIRTY-NINE       
First Line: A barber is cutting the hair; %his fingers, perfumed by a rainbow
Last Line: Where women pass it with a smile. %good dog, old face; good dog, good dog


SHOES       
First Line: In the shoe store storage closet
Last Line: Their toes turned up from forever %walking uphill in the rain


SHOOTING A FARMHOUSE       
First Line: The first few wounds are nearly invisible
Last Line: The old woman's dishes %begin to blow back and forth through the rooms


SIGH       
First Line: You lie in your bed and sigh
Subject(s): Sighs


SITE       
First Line: A fenced-in square of sand and yellow grass
Last Line: The county provided the paper and the jars


SKATER    Poem Text    
First Line: She was all in black but for a yellow pony tail
Subject(s): Memory; Skating & Skaters; Sports


SKATER       
First Line: She was all in black but for a yellow pony tail
Last Line: At the woman she'd been just an instant before
Subject(s): Memory; Skating And Skaters; Sports


SKYWALK       
First Line: It bridges the busy street, building to building,
Last Line: And his beautiful wings to unfold


SLEEPING CAT; FOR LINDA ULRICH    Poem Text    
First Line: My cat is asleep on his haunches
Last Line: Into the blinding, bright rooms of his eyes
Subject(s): Cats


SLEEPING CAT; FOR LINDA ULRICH       
First Line: My cat is asleep on his haunches
Last Line: The cat will come scampering back %into the blinding, bright rooms in his eyes
Subject(s): Nature


SNAKE       
First Line: Fear lies in the grass at the place


SNAKESKIN    Poem Text    
First Line: It is only the old yellow shell
Subject(s): Snakes; Time; Serpents; Vipers


SNAKESKIN       
First Line: It is only the old yellow shell
Last Line: Nothing it knows is ahead. %its whistle flicks into the distance


SNOW FENCE    Poem Text    
First Line: The red fence
Last Line: Much to carry
Subject(s): Fences; Roads


SNOW FENCE       
First Line: The red fence
Subject(s): Travel


SO GO THE OLD STORIES       


SO THIS IS NEBRASKA    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
Subject(s): Nebraska


SO THIS IS NEBRASKA       
First Line: The gravel road rides with a slow gallop


SOME KINDS OF LOVE       
First Line: On a warm june day
Last Line: His broad face all drawn in %around a small wet smile


SORGHUM MOLASSES       
First Line: In this jar, just the weight of a heart
Last Line: And the hard rubber tip from a cane


SOUND IN THE NIGHT       
First Line: There's a clock at the end of the pasture
Last Line: And reaches out into the darkness %and over the years for my mother's hand


SPARKLERS       
First Line: I scratched your name in longhand
Last Line: Trembling along on the darkness, %and that was my name, my name


SPIDER EGGS       
First Line: In the shadows under the cellar stairs
Last Line: And pulling all the light in after it, %one fifty-watt at a time


SPIRAL NOTEBOOK       
First Line: The bright wire rolls like a porpoise
Last Line: As if it were some kind of wonder


SPLITTING AN ORDER    Poem Text    
First Line: I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half
Subject(s): Food & Eating; Old Age; Man-wiman Relationships


SPRING PLOWING    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: West of omaha, the freshly-plowed fields
Subject(s): Nature


SPRING PLOWING       
First Line: West of omaha, the freshly-plowed fields
Last Line: They keep tgheir lanterns covered
Subject(s): Nature


STARLIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: All night, this soft rain from the distant past


STARLIGHT       
First Line: All night, this soft rain from the distant past
Last Line: No wonder I sometimes waken as a child


STARLINGS       
First Line: A flight of starlings has a hundred voices


STATUE OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER       
First Line: Because he was always to stand there
Last Line: Making it look so terribly easy


STONEWARE CROCK       
First Line: Take hold of this old five-gallon crock
Last Line: Upon the vacuum, and the morning air %is wild with flags of vinegar


STREAM BED    Poem Text    
First Line: In the poplars
Subject(s): Streams; Toads


STREAM BED       
First Line: In the poplars, %the hot rattle
Last Line: And the toad sets out %to market, %blinking


STUDENT    Poem Text    
First Line: The green shell of his backpack makes him lean
Subject(s): Students


STUDENT       
First Line: The green shell of his backpack makes him lean
Last Line: And lumbers, heavy with hope, into the library


STUMP-BURNING IN SPRING       
First Line: For almost a week, the uprooted stump
Last Line: From under the bill of his bright red cap


SUNSET       
First Line: The steeple so carefully


SURVEYORS       
First Line: They have come from the past
Last Line: And though they cannot see us, %helpfully we wave back


SURVIVING       
First Line: There are days when the fear of death
Last Line: The tiny antennae stop moving


SWEEPER       
First Line: It is morning. My father
Last Line: With an old yellow oar- %happy there, hailing his friends


SWINGING FROM PARENTS       
First Line: The child walks between her father and mother
Last Line: The child puts her trust in, lifting her knees, %swinging her feet out over the world


TATTOO    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Tattoos; Old Age


TATTOO       
First Line: What once was meant to be a statement
Last Line: His heart gone soft and blue with stories


TECTONICS       
First Line: In only a few months
Last Line: Scarcely rippling the heart


TELESCOPE       
First Line: This is the pipe that pierces the dam
Last Line: Beneath the straining wall of darkness


THAT MORNING, THE SUN HAD BEEN OUT       


THAT SPRING, WHEN THE WEATHER WARMED       


THAT WAS I       
First Line: I was that older man you saw sitting
Last Line: That it could snare and eat. Yes, that was I


THE BACK DOOR    Poem Text    
First Line: The door which through we step out
Subject(s): Past


THE CHINA PAINTERS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: They have set aside their black tin boxes,
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters


THE EARLY BIRD    Poem Text    
First Line: Still dark and raining hard
Subject(s): Birds


THE GIANT SLIDE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Beside the highway, the giant slide
Subject(s): Amusement Parks; Transience; Impermanence


THE GOLDFISH FLOATS TO THE TOP OF HIS LIFE    Poem Text    


THE GREAT GRANDPARENTS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: As small children, we were taken to meet them.
Subject(s): Grandparents; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers


THE MOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: On the floor of a parking garage
Subject(s): Mice; Death - Animals


THE SALESMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Today he's wearing his vinyl shoes
Last Line: Making the jingle of coin with its tags
Subject(s): Salespersons; Selling


THE SIGH    Poem Text    
First Line: You lie in your bed and sigh
Subject(s): Sighs


THE URINE SPECIMEN    Poem Text    
First Line: In the clinic, a sun-bleached shell of stone
Subject(s): Urinalysis


THE VERY OLD    Poem Text    
First Line: The very old are forever
Subject(s): Old Age


THE WITNESS    Poem Text    
First Line: The divorce judge has asked for a witness
Subject(s): Trials; Divorce


THERE IS ALWAYS A LITTLE WIND    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Cemeteries; Country Life; Graveyards


THEY HAD TORN OFF MY FACE AT THE OFFICE    Poem Text    


THEY HAD TORN OFF MY FACE AT THE OFFICE       
Last Line: It pleases them to have helped me, %and I gain in speed and confidence
Subject(s): Office Employees


THIS PAPER BOAT    Poem Text    
First Line: Carefully placed upon the future,
Subject(s): Messages & Messangers


THOUGHTS ON WINTER    Poem Text    
First Line: Few long-time city dwellers who move to the country for peace and quiet
Last Line: I was able to accomplish all that in just three hours, and the guys at the firestone didn't get a ce
Subject(s): Winter; Country Life


TILLAGE MARKS    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Farm Life; Stones; Agriculture; Farmers; Granite; Rocks


TILLAGE MARKS       
First Line: On this flat stone


TIME OF THEIR LIVES       
First Line: Today my ducks are eating windfalls
Last Line: Of my table saw, they heard a hawk's wings %dust the blue bowl of the sky


TOUCHSTONE       
First Line: Found on the shoulder
Last Line: I find him by a road three hundred miles %from home?


TRACKS    Poem Text    
First Line: Using a cobbler's shoe last
Subject(s): Shoes; Boots; Sneakers; Shoemakers


TREEHOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: Whose kite was this?
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips


TREEHOUSE       
First Line: Whose kite was this?
Subject(s): Travel


TURKEY VULTURES    Poem Text    
First Line: Circling above us, their wingtips fanned
Subject(s): Vultures


TURKEY VULTURES       
First Line: Circling above us, their wingtips fanned
Last Line: Have fallen behind with the making of shrouds


URINE SPECIMEN       
First Line: In the clinic, a sun-bleached shell of stone


VERY OLD       
First Line: The very old are forever %hurting themselves
Last Line: On crutces and canes, %perennial, %checking their gauges for rain


VISITANT AT FIVE A.M.       
First Line: It was there on the arm of my rocker
Last Line: And it was morning, and the house was cold


VOYAGER II SATELLITE       
First Line: The tin man is cold


WALKING AT NOON NEAR THE BURLINGTON DEPOT IN LINCOLN       
First Line: On the rat-gray dock


WALKING BESIDE A CREEK    Poem Text    


WALKING BESIDE A CREEK       
Last Line: The lifeblood thudding %in their tight, wet boots
Subject(s): Nature


WALKING ON TIPTOE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Long ago we quit lifting our heels
Subject(s): Animals; Conduct Of Life


WALKING ON TIPTOE       
First Line: Long ago we quit lifting our heels
Last Line: And suddenly able to see in the dark


WALKING TO WORK    Poem Text    
First Line: Today, it's the obsidian
Subject(s): Walking


WASHING OF HANDS       
First Line: She turned on the tap and a silver braid
Last Line: Though I was there


WE LIVED IN LOOKING-GLASS VALLEY       


WE OLDER STUDENTS WENT HOME       


WE WERE OUT OF FLOUR FOR BREAD       


WEATHER CENTRAL       
First Line: Each evening at six-fifteen, the weatherman
Last Line: Asleep in her stall on a peaceful moonlit night


WHEN THE WIND AND SNOWSTORM STRUCK       


WIDOW       
First Line: She's combed his neckties out of her hair
Last Line: She's scrubbed the floor around the toilet. %she hates him even more for dying


WILD ASPARAGUS       
First Line: Just before frost, because I liked the looks of it, I cut a hollow section
Last Line: Enemy approaching, his black rubber boots sucking and blowing


WINTER MORNING       
First Line: A farmhouse window far back from the highway
Last Line: And against the starry cold, one small blue ring of flame


WITNESS       
First Line: The divorce judge has asked for a witness


WOMAN WHO JUMPS       
First Line: In her sixties and thin, she wears %a long navy dress and a torn straw hat
Last Line: Dropping from somewhere %to spend a few steps on the earth


WYOMING LANDSCAPE       
First Line: In the windy concert hall %of eastern wyoming
Last Line: To withhold their applause


YEAR'S END    Poem Text    
First Line: Now the seasons are closing their files
Subject(s): Loss


YEAR'S END       
First Line: Now the seasons are closing their files
Last Line: We fell in love again, finding %that one red feather on the wind
Subject(s): Loss


YEVTUSHENKO    Poem Text    
First Line: Yevtushenko, you came to nebraska
Subject(s): Yevtushenko, Yevgeny (b. 1933)


YEVTUSHENKO       
First Line: Yevtushenko, you came to nebraska
Last Line: And when you thanked him, yevtushenko, for this time, %he said it was all part of the job
Subject(s): Yevtushenko, Yevgeny (b. 1933)


ZENITH    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: It was part of her parlour's darkness
Subject(s): Grandparents; World War Ii; Radio; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Second World War


ZENITH       
First Line: It was part of her parlor's darkness
Last Line: In the weak yellow glow from the war