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Ted Kooser

(Ames, Iowa)

After Years


Today, from a distance, I saw you
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomer's retina
as he stood on the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Ruth Campbell (1/30/2008 11:30:00 AM)

    Some very powerful imagery here, but I'm not sure about the last four lines. You go from the astronomer's retina to the great open dome of your heart. Kind of unclear. 'with no one to tell' is a good line. (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (9/24/2006 4:16:00 AM)

    ted, you should dabble in haiku. all the haiku sentiments you can find in this poem.

    black hole
    i find one
    in my mind (Report) Reply

  • Brian Dorn (7/21/2006 10:47:00 PM)

    Even after the passing of many years, the event of seeing (from a distance) a past love can result in an emotional impact of infinite proportions. I certainly felt it... great poem! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Shepherd (1/26/2006 6:16:00 AM)

    Another of Kooser's delicate, modest, subtle, great poems about mortality in the light of eternity. The art that conceals art. (Report) Reply

  • Alicia Denman (10/25/2005 8:56:00 AM)

    Ted Kooser is neither inexperienced, nor without talent, as Mr. Muhammad suggests. He has been the U.S. Poet Laureate for the past two years, won this year's Pulitzer, and has won the Pushcart prize and 2 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. After 30 more years of writing poetry, should he still be alive, I would think he would be standing in Stockholm accepting his Nobel Prize. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Jefferson (8/29/2005 10:21:00 PM)

    This is outstanding....
    'Today, from a distance, I saw you
    walking away, .....as he stood on the
    great open dome of my heart
    with no one to tell.'
    Wow...I really like this... (Report) Reply

  • Noor Muhammad (8/14/2005 1:05:00 PM)

    This poem shows the poet's inexperience, lack of poetic knowledge and lack of talent. God knows where would the poet stand after 30 years of practice in writing poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Mary Stebbins (4/4/2005 10:39:00 PM)

    Reading this poem was like the star 35 times larger thant he sun exploding in my hear, like the glittering face of the glacier dropping smoothly into the sea of my my mind! WOW! (Report) Reply

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