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Publisher's Comments: Two voices of the American landscape create a remarkable suite of lyrics. For years Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser exchanged letters and poems, then Kooser was diagnosed with cancer. "Ted's poetry became overwhelmingly vivid, " Harrison recalls. "Then we decided to correspond in short poems, because that was the essence of what we wanted to say to each other." Braided Creek contains more than 300 poems exchanged in this longstanding correspondence. Wise, wry, and penetrating, the poems touch upon numerous subjects, from the natural world to the nature of time. Harrison and Kooser decided to remain silent over who wrote which poem, allowing their voices, ideas, and images to swirl and merge into this remarkable suite of lyrics. Each time I go outside the world is different. This has happened all my life. The moon put her hand over my mouth and told me to shut up and watch. A nephew rubs the sore feet of his aunt, and the rope that lifts us all toward grace creaks on the pulley. Under the storyteller's hat are many heads, all troubled.
From the book: Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States, received the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows. He edits the weekly newspaper column "American Life in Poetry." Throughout a distinguished writing career, critics have praised his clarity and accessibility and, as The New York Times noted, Kooser has a "genius for making the ordinary sacramental." Praise for Delights & Shadows "Delights & Shadows is a book with a deep stillness at its center, perfectly self-contained, yet echoing like a country well." -The Los Angeles Times Book Review "That Kooser often sees things we do not would be delight enough, but more amazing is exactly what he sees. Nothing escapes him; everything is illuminated... Highly recommended." -Library Journal "Kooser is straightforward, possesses an American essence, is humble, gritty, ironic and has a gift for detail and a deceptive simplicity." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Kooser is not afraid to challenge us and himself. He brushes poems over ordinary objects, revealing metaphysical themes the way an investigator dusts for fingerprints." -The Philadelphia Inquirer "There is a sense of quiet amazement at the core of all Kooser's work." -The Washington Post
From the book: Ted Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska known as the Bohemian Alps. Nothing is too big or too small for his attention. Memories of his grandmother's cooking are juxtaposed with reflections about the oldfashioned outhouse on his property. In the end, what makes life meaningful for Kooser are the ways in which his neighbors care for one another and how an afternoon walking with an old dog, or baking a pie, or decorating the house for Christmas can summon memories of his Iowa childhood. This writer is a seer in the truest sense of the word, discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, the deep beneath the shallow, the abiding wisdom in the pithy Bohemian proverbs that are woven into his essays.
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