Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
“Kooser documents the dignities, habits and small griefs of daily life, our hunger for connection, our struggle to find balance.”—Poetry
"[Kooser] brushes poems over ordinary objects, revealing metaphysical themes that way an investigator dusts for fingerprints. His language is so controlled and convincing that one can't help but feel significant truths behind his lines." —The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Delights & Shadows raises the voice of the poet above everything else. Each short, vivid poem on the page reads as if it were being spoken aloud. Details about cemeteries, dictionaries, a doctor's waiting room, and a jar of buttons bristle with sound and awareness. Kooser's ability to use brief lyrics to compose a music of discovery and regeneration makes his work radiant and consuming." —Bloomsbury Review
Ted Kooser is a master of metaphor, a poet who deftly connects disparate elements of the world and communicates with absolute precision. Critics call him a “haiku-like imagist” and his poems have been compared to Chekov’s short stories. In Delights and Shadows, Kooser draws inspiration from the overlooked details of daily life. Quotidian objects like a pegboard, creamed corn and a forgotten salesman’s trophy help reveal the remarkable in what before was a merely ordinary world.
Ted Kooser is the author of eight collections of poems and a prose memoir. He lives on a small farm in rural Nebraska.
Retired life insurance executive Ted Kooser is better known as the author of Sure Signs and nine other books of poems, as well as of the recent memoir Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemia Alps than for policies sold. Divided into four sections, these 59 poems take us from time "Walking on Tiptoe" and "At the Cancer Clinic" to "A Jar of Buttons," "A Box of Pastels" and "A Glimpse of the Eternal": "Just now,/ a sparrow lighted/ on a pine bough/ right outside/ my bedroom window/ and a puff/ of yellow pollen/ flew away."