Date: May 23, 2009
I finished reading Kooser’s book a while back and am just now getting to update this post. (Been traveling and rather busy.) I really enjoyed the book and am glad that I’ve selected it for my poetry course in the fall. Kooser has a way of making poetry feel like it’s within everyone’s reach–and not reserved for the likes of English teachers and the literati. I’m confident that my students will respond well to the text. I also like that it is not a traditional text book, as it were, and seems far from such school-like books. It is irreverent in places, funny and lighthearted, and yet filled with insight on the craft–it is Kooser afterall. He writes poetry and writes about poetry in a manner true to his statement that it is communication, that it should effect people’s lives and not pass over their heads or scare them off. This little tiny book has breadth enough for an introductory poetry course with topics ranging from the craft to the business of being a working poet. Kooser offers no delusional hopes to beginning poets about fame or fortune, and yet he does not fail to inspire. The joy or reading and writing poetry, he reminds us, is truly for its own sake. There’s no other reason that can sustain one in its pursuit.