Ted Kooser: A Western American Poet
With his lucid writing style, Ted Kooser uses his Midwestern background to create thoughtful and honest poetry that reflects the values of his home. Three of his poems, “Abandoned Farmhouse”, “The Early Bird”, and “So This Is Nebraska” each demonstrate his unique writing style. Kooser chooses to make his poetry accessible for readers, even those with little to no prior knowledge in analyzing poetry, writing on topics of the mundane and those relatable to his audience. And while this has garnered some criticism, Ted Kooser has become one of the greats in American poetry.
Ted Kooser is strongly influenced by his life in the Midwest, and therefore, his early years helped shape his career as a writer. Kooser…show more content… Speaking from his personal he experience, Kooser would have witnessed the natural phenomenon o early bird on his early morning walks during recovery. He uses imagery, metaphors, and syntax to convey the heaviness of the early morning and the bright energy of nature renewed each day. Kooser addresses the morning through the actions of the bird sounding early in the day. He relies heavily on imagery to create not only the mood of the morning, but also a picture of the simplicity of a chirping bird in relation to the complexity of a new day. Words in the first stanza such as “dark”, “raining hard”, and “cold” set the drab, somber tone of the ache of waking in the morning. This sadness is interrupted with the following stanza describing the “chirping” of the bird, a chirp that is “sweet” in tone but “sour” in its calling to rise. From the dismal description of the weather to the noting of the bird chirping, there is a tonal shift from somber to hopeful and reenergized, facilitated by the transition “and yet”. While the song of a bird may simply be a noise in nature, Kooser highlights the connection between the “early bird” song to the slow rise to being awake. To continue the imagery, Kooser also uses an extended metaphor to qualify the morning rising. The bird’s chirping, “hauling the heavy bucket of dawn”, allows one to take hope in the…show more content… I just begin to write and see what happens. Sometimes it drifts off to being poetry, sometimes short prose. I sort of kind of follow it and see where it 's going. The process is pretty much the same. It 's sitting there with your notebook, waiting for something to happen (“Ted Kooser”).”
Drawing influences from William Carlos Williams, James Wright, and William Stafford, Kooser has developed his own unique writing style influenced by his surroundings and experiences. Strong imagery, lucid diction, and quiet optimism have become the traits of his poetry (Cone). Ted Kooser continues to write and teach, but his heart, along with his poetry, is rooted to his