Cover image for Splitting an order
Title:
Splitting an order
Author:
Kooser, Ted.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
Publication Information:
Port Townsend, Washington : Copper Canyon Press, [2014]
Physical Description:
xi, 87 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Pulitzer Prize winner and best selling poet Ted Kooser calls attention to the intimacies of life through commonplace objects and occurrences: an elderly couple sharing a sandwich is a study in transcendent love, while a tattered packet of spinach seeds calls forth innate human potential. This long-awaited collection from the former U.S. Poet Laureate--ten years in the making--is rich with quiet and profound magnificence.
Language:
English
Contents:
Two Men on an Errand -- llOth Birthday -- Near a Mall -- Splitting an Order -- An Incident -- Bad News -- Swinging from Parents -- Potatoes -- At Arby's, at Noon -- A Meeting after Many Years -- The Rollerblader -- In a Gift Shop -- Changing Drivers -- Snapshot -- Two -- While We Were Passing -- Gabardine -- The Woman Whose Husband Was Dying -- Estate Sale -- Opossum -- A Backyard Fish Pool -- A Visitant at Five A.M. -- A Jonathan in Spring -- Dead Bat -- Sundial -- Birdhouse -- Tree Frog -- Lantern -- Dead Fly -- Garrison, Nebraska -- A Mouse in a Trap -- A Wasp's Nest -- Tree Removal -- Barn Swallows -- Zinc Lld -- At a Kitchen Table -- A Morning in Early Spring -- Closing the Windows -- The Past -- Sleep Apnea -- First Marriage -- Grandfather -- Howard -- Deep Winter -- New Moon -- Hands in the Wind -- Spanish Lessons -- Painting the Barn -- Those Summer Evenings -- Awakening -- A Person of Limited Palette -- Small Rooms in Time -- Right Hand
ISBN:
9781556594694
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PS3561.O6 A6 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Eggertsville-Snyder Library PS3561.O6 A6 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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On Order

Summary

Summary

One of the "Big Indie Books of Fall 2014"-- Publishers Weekly

Paterson Poetry Prize, 2015

"Ted Kooser must be the most accessible and enjoyable major poet in America. His lines are so clear and simple."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"Readers [of Splitting an Order ] will find 'characters' both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and savored, from an old couple lovingly sharing a sandwich to another sowing seed potatoes to a tribute to an old dog who waits as age and winter approach... Master of the single-metaphor poem, Kooser offers images that evolve, fluid and unforced."-- Library Journal, starred review

"Wisdom, compassion, and dignity continue to mark the poetry of Ted Kooser... Splitting an Order [is] a quiet collection that honors small victories and gives reasons to be hopeful."--Elizabeth Lund, The Christian Science Monitor

"Kooser's ability to discover the smallest detail and render it remarkable is a rare gift."-- Bloomsbury Review

Pulitzer Prize winner and best selling poet Ted Kooser calls attention to the intimacies of life through commonplace objects and occurrences: an elderly couple sharing a sandwich is a study in transcendent love, while a tattered packet of spinach seeds calls forth innate human potential. This long-awaited collection from the former U.S. Poet Laureate--ten years in the making--is rich with quiet and profound magnificence.

From "Splitting an Order":

I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half
... and then to see him lift half
onto the extra plate that he asked the server to bring,
and then to wait, offering the plate to his wife
while she slowly unrolls her napkin and places her spoon,
her knife and her fork in their proper places,
then smoothes the starched white napkin over her knees
and meets his eyes and holds out both old hands to him.

Ted Kooser is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon Press), which won the Pulitzer Prize. A former US Poet Laureate, Kooser serves as editor for "American Life in Poetry," a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* While the prose pieces in Kooser's The Wheeling Year (2014) are painterly their lines, virtually all the same, broad brush-stroke length the poems of Kooser's new collection reflect another interest of his in the visual arts, photography. A painting may fix a place or person; a photograph fixes time, also. In a poem, Kooser typically sees something an old man cutting a sandwich in half to share with his wife, a drift of leaves sliced through by a moving car, an aged apple tree and sets it before us. Then, imagination takes over, memory and fancy, too, for a poem is made with words rather than light. The object of the poem's sight, so to speak, opens up its history, personal or communal, and, as or more important, its emotional connections to the poet and the reader. Those fallen leaves, by means of their fleshlike color, become hands welcoming the car, welcoming the driver, wishing him well. I found myself laughing, the poet says, as may the reader. Such revelations of the pervasive human presence as observer and participant in a world perhaps made for people are common in Kooser's poems. Pretty impressive for a photographer. --Olson, Ray Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Kooser's long-awaited follow-up to 2005's PulitzerPrize-winning Delights and Shadows is a journey of intimacies, a stroll through lives and minds via common objects and quotidian occurrences, that brims over with small profundities and discoveries. "Because it arrives while you sleep,"¿ Kooser writes in "Bad News,"¿ "it's the one call you never pick up/ on the first ring."¿ Writing in the soft, casual tone he's best known for, his focuses are the telephone, the sundial, the birdhouse, and the Arby's meal. Kooser explores the bonds of love and friendship with simple insights into the marvels of existence and meditations on aging and weariness: "she stepped outside, and placed one foot/ and then the other on the future, and it held her up."¿ In "Tree Removal,"¿ "the tree makes its exit with grace,/ going down slowly, one piece at a time."¿ Old objects, present and remembered, become the markers by which a mind reconstitutes and evaluates a life, "forever wading/ into the next hour, followed by the rest."¿ Kooser, alone "among the others who have stood here,"¿ observes the slow summation of past and present people and things, all "becoming a piece of some great, rusty work/ we seem to fit exactly."¿ (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Starred Review. There is a comfort in reading these poems from Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Kooser: the cozy notion that despite modern technology, he is there, observing the world deeply and writing the words needed to ground us. Readers will find "characters" both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and savored, from an old couple lovingly sharing a sandwich to another sowing seed potatoes to a tribute to an old dog who waits as age and winter approach: "its rippling scent a cold/ that floats on the rest of the cold/ like a snake on a pool." Included is an essay about a first house in which shootings and a murder later take place, illustrating how time and circumstance can startle and strike memory. VERDICT Master of the single-metaphor poem, Kooser offers images that evolve, fluid and unforced: "This old hand with which I am writing/ holding its pen and pecking its way/ across the paper like a hen, has pulled me/ clucking with little discoveries/ across more than seventy years." Recommended.-Karla Huston, Appleton, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

I Two Men on an Errandp. 5
110th Birthdayp. 7
Near a Mallp. 8
Splitting an Orderp. 9
An Incidentp. 10
Bad Newsp. 11
Swinging from Parentsp. 12
Potatoesp. 13
At Arby's, at Noonp. 14
A Meeting after Many Yearsp. 15
The Rollerbladerp. 16
In a Gift Shopp. 17
Changing Driversp. 19
Snapshotp. 20
Twop. 21
While We Were Passingp. 22
Gabardinep. 24
The Woman Whose Husband Was Dyingp. 25
II Estate Salep. 29
Opossump. 37
Backyard Fish Poolp. 38
A Visitant at Five A.M.p. 39
A Jonathan in Springp. 40
Dead Batp. 41
Sundialp. 42
Birdhousep. 43
Tree Frogp. 44
Lanternp. 45
Dead Flyp. 46
Garrison, Nebraskap. 47
A Mouse in a Trapp. 48
A Wasp's Nestp. 49
Tree Removalp. 50
Barn Swallowsp. 51
Zinc Lidp. 52
III At a Kitchen Tablep. 55
A Morning in Early Springp. 56
Closing the Windowsp. 60
The Pastp. 61
Sleep Apneap. 62
First Marriagep. 63
Grandfatherp. 64
Howardp. 65
Deep Winterp. 66
New Moonp. 67
Hands in the Windp. 68
Spanish Lessonsp. 69
Painting the Barnp. 70
Those Summer Eveningsp. 71
Awakeningp. 72
A Person of Limited Palettep. 73
IV Small Rooms in Timep. 77
Right Handp. 84
About the Authorp. 87

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