Songs Of The Plains Gain An Audience

by | Oct 5, 2004

Ted Kooser, the nation’s new poet laureate, is another in a long line of Nebraska wordsmiths* to find respectability outside da Corn.


Selecting A Reader
by Ted Kooser

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.

*Nebraska’s famous writers include Ron Hansen, Loren Eisley, John G. Neihardt, Willa Cather, Mari Sandoz, Wright Morris, and Bess Streeter Aldrich. Essayist Megan Daum recently made rural Nebraska her home. And Lincoln native Ana Marie Cox, a.k.a. Wonkette–now working from suburban Washington, DC–is clearly one of the nation’s hottest bloggers.