Skater

Ted Kooser Click to read more...

kooserAn Iowan, Ted Kooser is former vice-president of Lincoln Benefit Life and teaches as Visiting Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States in 2004 and the next year received the Pulitzer Prize for Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon). He has also received the James Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah and the Pushcart Prize. He has published a dozen and a half volumes of poems and the widely-used The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for the Beginning Poet. Hi column “American Life in Poetry” is widely syndicated.  “Skater” first appeared in Shenandoah 53/3.

She was all in black but for a yellow pony tail
that trailed from her cap, and bright blue gloves
that she held out wide, the feathery fingers spread,
as surely she stepped, click-clack, onto the frozen
top of the world. And there, with a clatter of blades,
she began to braid a loose path that broadened
into a meadow of curls. Across the ice she swooped
and then turned back and, halfway, bent her legs
and leapt into the air the way a crane leaps, blue gloves
lifting her lightly, and turned a snappy half-turn
there in the wind before coming down, arms wide,
skating backward right out of that moment, smiling back
at the woman she’d been just an instant before.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Discussion

One Response to Skater

  1. Hendley Badcock says:

    Kooser is extremely aware of sound in the poem. His alliteration, consonance, and onomatopoeia allow the reader to easily slide into the scene of the poem, as if on the slick ice ourselves. The kinesthetic energy captured in his active language deftly traces the woman’s movement and, in a flashing smile, the response her internal transformation. I love Kooser’s ability to describe what must be a few seconds in time so colorfully and clearly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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