After Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser had exchanged letters and poems for years, Kooser was diagnosed with cancer. "Ted's poetry became overwhelmingly vivid," Harrison recalls. "Then we decided to correspond in short poems, because that was the essence of what we wanted to say to each other."
Braided Creek contains over 300 poems exchanged in this longstanding correspondence. Wise, wry, and penetrating, the poems touch upon numerous subjects, from the natural world to the nature of time. Harrison and Kooser decided to remain silent over who wrote which poem, allowing their voices, ideas, and images to swirl and merge into this remarkable suite of lyrics.
Each time I go outside the world
is different. This has happened
all my life.
The moon put her hand
over my mouth and told me
to shut up and watch.
A nephew rubs the sore feet
of his aunt,
and the rope that lifts us all toward grace
creaks on the pulley.
Under the storyteller's hat
are many heads, all troubled.
Jim Harrison, one of America's best-loved writers, is author of two dozen books of poetry, fiction, essays, food criticism, and memoir. He is best known for a collection of novellas, Legends of the Fall, and the epic novel Dalva. He lives in western Montana and southern Arizona.
Ted Kooser is the author of eight collections of poetry and a prose memoir. His poetry appears regularly in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Nation. He lives in Nebraska.