Week Twenty Seven: Two Poems by Ted Kooser

“Applesauce” and “So this is Nebraska”




Let’s starts out with a poem which surely marks the changing of the seasons . . .a poem about canning. It’s “Applesauce,” by the fabulous Ted Kooser, from his marvelous collection Delights and Shadows  (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.)  Enjoy.

You can read Kooser’s poem here!


“So this is Nebraska”

How does the warmth and intimacy of the microcosm of the old kitchen (governed by the stars and navigated by the sailboats on the woman’s apron) compare with the expansiveness of our second poem, “So this is Nebraska?”

What do the two poems have in common?

Read Kooser’s second poem here!

The poem is part of Kooser’s collection, Sure Signs.

. . .A bit about Ted Kooser . . .


Born April 25, 1939, in Ames, Iowa, Ted Kooser attended Iowa State University (B.S. 1962), and the University of Nebraska (M.A. 1968).Ted_Kooser

In 2006 he completed his second and final term as U. S. Poet Laureate and since then has continued to spend much of his time as a public spokesperson for poetry.  He’s currently a Presidential Professor at The University of Nebraska, teaching the writing of poetry.


Ted Kooser’s poetry has been collected in a number of full-length volumes and special editions and has appeared in many literary periodicals. A number of his poems appear in textbooks and anthologies currently in use in secondary school and college classrooms.

Kooser is also the editor of a weekly newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry,” which is carried in over 150 newspapers and is available online at http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org. It is jointly sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Department, The Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation. Distribution of the column has continued to grow despite the problems in the newspaper industry and many readers now receive it via email. It, too, is being used in classrooms. The column has an estimated circulation of three and a half million readers around the world.

Check out more from Ted Kooser at his website.



And for those of you interested in writing and the poetry writing process in terms of real-world elements of craft, please check out The Poetry Home Repair Manual.




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