Ted Kooser: A Major American Poet

1397 WordsJun 16, 20186 Pages
Ted Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa, an area within the great plains of America. He credits his influences to both his mother and his father. His father worked as a store manager while his mother stayed home to raise him and his sister. During an interview he was asked how his parents influenced his poetry, he replied, "My Father was a storekeeper, loved the public, and was a marvelous storyteller. I remember a women once said to me that she'd rather hear my dad describe a person than see the person herself." (Meats, 335). One can tell from reading Kooser's poetry that his father influenced him greatly. Ted Kooser also attained a strong work ethic from his father, which in his formative years allowed him to prosper and become the poet he is…show more content…
With the publication of Sure Signs in 1980, Ted Kooser wrote Carrie, a poem about the morality of humanity and how life is cycle. Like most of his work, he used firsthand experience to forge his thoughts, this time his Aunt's life. The poem is only eleven lines long but its meaning it universal. Even though it's a short poem, Kooser found a way to enrich it with figurative language, from similes to metaphors. With the lines, "as her rag, like a thunderhead," (3), to "and an elbow that creaked and popped / like a branch in a storm." (8-9), Kooser portrays to the listener of the environment his Aunt lived, which is an area he's accustomed to, the great plains. In the poem Kooser writes, "seventy years with a ball / of compulsion closed in her fist," (6-7), meaning that in life you grow in age, and that there's no stopping it. Eventually, life will end with death, as seen in the lines, "Now dust / is her hands and dust her heart." (9-10) meaning that once you die you'll become dust. The last line of the poem, "There's never an end to it." (11) solidifies the poem with its meaning that there's a circle of life and it never ends. Later on in his life with the publication of Delights and Shadows, Ted Kooser writes a poem on what would be his father's ninety-seventh

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