February 12, 2010

Poetry Friday--Ted Kooser's Valentines

From the jacket flap toValentines: Poems (U. of Nebraska Pr., 2008):
For Valentine's Day 1986, Ted Kooser wrote "Pocket Poem" and sent the tender, thoughtful composition to fifty women friends, starting an annual tradition that would persist for the next twenty-one years. Printed on postcards, the poems were mailed to a list of recipients that eventually grew to more than 2,500 women all over the United States.
In Kooser's introduction we learn that he sent the postcards to Valentine, NE each year to be postmarked "Valentine." Do you love this guy, or what?

Not only do I love the guy, I love his little poems, too! My favorite is "The Bluet," which begins like this
Of all the flowers, the bluet has
the sweetest name, two syllables
that form on the lips, then fall
with a tiny, raindrop splash
into a suddenly bluer morning.
If you're not familiar with the bluet, this is what it looks like:

By Seuss

The ones shown are quite blue, the ones I see growing in New Hampshire are a paler shade--almost white in fact. (Not to get off on a tangent, but here's an article about color in flowers.)

Ted Kooser was on NPR two years ago when Valentines was first released. Click here to find recordings of the poet reading several of the Valentines. Consider the link as my Valentine to you!

Check out the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Lee at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?


  1. Love that Ted Kooser! What a cool idea! Thanks for the sweet post. :)

  2. Now I love Ted Kooser even more!! (and I wish I could be one of the 2500 to get a Valentine from him!)