4.19.2010

April is National Poetry Month: Delights and Shadows: Casting Reels


I have written often on this blog about the poet Ted Kooser. He was Poet Laureate of the United States in 2004. This collection of poems earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. He created "An American Life in Poetry", a weekly column that highlights poetry once a week in newspapers around the country. He writes about place in his words about Nebraska, he touches our hearts as he remembers family and friends,and he reminds us of simple beauty in everyday events.  I really love Kooser's work. Because of that it was hard to pick just one poem of his to post here today. If you have never read his work, visit his website and read more of his poems. I think you will see why I love his poetry so much.

Casting Reels
You find them at flea markets
and yard sales, old South Bends
and Pfluegers, with fancy engraving,
knurled knobs, and pearl handles,
spooled with the fraying line
of long stories snarled into
silence, not just exaggerated tales
of walleyes, bass, and catfish,
but of hardworking men
who on Saturdays sought out
the solace of lakes, who on weekdays
at desks, or standing on ladders,
or next to clattering machines
played out their youth and strength
waiting to set the hook, and then,
in their sixties, felt the line go slack
and reeled the years back empty.
They are the ones who got away.

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