Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ted Kooser's poem In January


  1. ea says:

    His bio reads like he’s all for the dumbing down of America. I think it’s ironic that it even includes a reference to someone like Wallace Stevens. He says he doesn’t think you should talk over someone’s head but judging from these few poems of his that are highlighted on this site, he couldn’t do that if he wanted to. I’m no preppy either but I’ll take a farmboy I can chew on, like Frost or Stafford anyday.

  2. Wind Angel says:

    well to me i think that he is pretty good. i would prefer to read william shakerbeer but thats just my opinion.i really don’t care what anyone thinks about me but, i am sertinly not preppy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Ted Kooser better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.