First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
'For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned.' And she will.
I can imagine Kooser lurking in the aisles of the bookstore, watching to see who is picking up his books. Of course he wants it to be a hot, sexy, yet intellectual girl who his poetry attracts. He is a MAN after all! And when she puts the book down, he makes into someone who is petty and obviously doesn't appreciat the art anyway. She's not quite as cute as she looked at first. It's about rejection. The dude got shot down! Annie
Oh—arrogance, I see. Deathless? How earnest, how arrogant such commentary strikes me. I do like the poem and enjoy Mr. Kooser’s longing for a beautiful reader and his acceptance of the shabby raincoat. He is a man who takes his art so lightly as to let her leave without buying a book.
Great poem! ! I absloutly love it! so simple and such a joy to read. Its one of my favourite
The lovely thing about this poem is how it flows from image to image...the beautiful woman...walking carefully...the loneliest moment of the afternoon...her hair still damp at the neck. You can see it clearly, feel it in a visceral way. Ted Kooser is a master at the art of story telling. And the thing is, if you are a writer...to inspire a woman to have her raincoat cleaned seems miracle enough. Every decision counts-every act, however small, changes the world.
Beautiful story. I imagined him being happy that she got to read a poem or two for free and decided to spend money on herself.
Add a comment.how sweet
Ah, the dreams of an aging poet; but at least she thumbed over your poems as am I; the world is full of poets ever since we had recorded language; thanks to the Mercian's whose teutonic tongue became the scaffold for the English language. You at least, are a good poet, and should displace that idiot Robert Frost over whom so many Americans dote. Nothing personal Robert, you're just not a very good poet like this guy.
lovely poem and I identify myself completely with it...Thanks for sharing.
hha, if someone gave me a book for free, i would be very happy.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem
Short, simple and definitely Ted Kooser. Some comments show that they did NOT get this poem in spite of its simplicity. He's poking fun of his own work AND vanity people! Its a great poem!