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Ted Kooser - Selecting A Reader

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 4516 times | Comments and analysis of Selecting A Reader by Ted Kooser Comments (4)

Selecting A Reader - Comments and Information

Poet: Ted Kooser
Poem: Selecting A Reader
Volume: Sure Signs
Year: Published/Written in 1980

Comment 4 of 4, added on December 26th, 2008 at 8:29 AM.

The poem motivated her to do something for herself. He was able to affect her. Love it. Having her wind up buying the book or having her point out to the reader just how wonderful the poem was would just make her underdeveloped, the author ego-obsessed and the reader bored. He gave her some character. I read this poem for the first time my Freshman year in college, it struck me immediately and I've always loved it.

Carolyn from United States
Comment 3 of 4, added on June 17th, 2008 at 2:15 AM.

Who would want a woman like that reading their poems? lol. Sounds like a bimbo - that they would think of cleaning their raincoat over poems, but then I realize that we are talking about Ted Kooser's poems here.

ea
Comment 2 of 4, added on June 18th, 2006 at 11:37 AM.

Ted Kooser always expressed simplicity in his work, so I'm supposing that it's not too metaphoric in what he's trying to say. Maybe he really is saying that a person with not enough money to even wash their raincoat should focus on that neccessity over purchasing his poem. It could be more but I don't see anything that lends itself into metaphor.

Benjamin

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