After Years Poem by Ted Kooser

After Years

Rating: 4.1


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Noor Muhammad 14 August 2005

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.

4 28 Reply
Ruth Campbell 30 January 2008

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.

2 8 Reply
Mary Stebbins 04 April 2005

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!

6 2 Reply
Tatiana Kenyetovna 27 May 2009

Excellent Metaphors, love it!

5 3 Reply
Alicia Denman 25 October 2005

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.

5 2 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 04 May 2021

This poem created full of brilliance, excellently worded, so near and visible, yet from a distant. Amazing! I love it!

0 0 Reply
Mark K 21 September 2018

Awesome poem with great detail! Love it!

0 0 Reply
Stephen Loomes 30 June 2018

A powerful poem of personal loss. I am curious why you chose the other sun to be 35 times greater than our own, but I enjoyed the great way you put its explosion and demise as a green spot on the astronomer's retina, but no-one to tell, except us, your readers.

0 0 Reply
Happyfrogday 06 February 2018

I love this poem. Beautiful, rich, the world of nature sounds lovely.

0 0 Reply
Troy Ulysses Davis 26 December 2015

The depths a poet can cover with such nonchalance. Captured here in After years.

2 0 Reply
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