A LOOK INTO TED KOOSER’S LIFE… Born 1939 in Iowa Ted Kooser depicts a country lifestyle with terseness and directness in his poetry Kooser chose to work in the insurance business and write on the side instead of choosing a career of writing Kooser was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2004 Other poems: In the Basement of the Goodwill Store So This Is Nebraska http://www.cwu.edu/kooser-presentation-cancelled
MY POEM He was a big man, says the size of his shoes On a pile of broken dishes by the house; A tall man too, says the length of the bed In an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man, 5. Says the Bible with a broken back On the floor below the window, dusty with sun; But not a man for farming, say the fields Cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn. A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall 10. Paper with lilacs and the kitchen shelves Covered with oilcloth, and they had a child, Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves And canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole. And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames. 15. It was lonely here, says the narrow country road Literary: Personification: Lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23 Line 1: Says the size of his shoes Line 3: Says the length of the bed Line 5: Says the Bible with a broken back Line 7: Say the fields Line 9: Says the bedroom walls Line 12 Say the jars of plum preserves
MY POEM (CONTINUED) Something went wrong, says the empty house In the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields Say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars In the cellar say she left in a nervous haste. 20. And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard Like branches after a storm-a rubber cow, A rusty tractor with a broken plow, A doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say. Repetition: Inside lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23 Lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 23 all have “says the…” Lines 16 and 23 both have “something went wrong,” Simile: Line 21: “Like branches after a storm-”
MY POEM (CONTINUED) Imagery: Not very noticeable, but can be used to depict the lifestyle Lines 20-23 depict what happened with the child’s toys Lines 1-5 tell you that the man was God-fearing and that he was a tall man Lines 10-15 depict that the house was decorated because of his wife and that the farmhouse was lonely on the narrow country road
ANALYZING THE POEM… What type of poem is it? The poem is a ballad poem There is a speaker He or she is telling the story of how a family fell apart slowly Main reason for the poem being a ballad poem is: No rhyme scheme Poetic elements? There isn’t a rhyme scheme None of the words on the end of the lines rhyme nor do the words inside of the lines rhyme Literary elements? The speaker is a bystander or an observer that’s telling a story about a family who fell apart in their farmhouse and nobody honestly knows what happened to them
THE MEANING OF MY POEM… What is the meaning of my poem? A man and his family lived in their home on a farm until something made the family fall apart It was most likely due to the lack of the husband’s farming skills or that money was scarce Whatever happened, the wife left and took their child with her leaving the “big man” behind and possibly angered or upset When the wife left, she left many things behind and all of the good things in the family relationship were nothing but a memory.
Sites used were: http://www.cwu.edu/kooser-presentation-cancelled www.poetryoutloud.org