Essay about Simply Masterful

3535 Words Nov 23rd, 2013 15 Pages
College Comp 2
Research Paper
Simply Masterful
“Most of us would prefer to look at cartoons in a magazine than read a poem," says Kooser. Poetry reflects life in a way that even big movies, cannot do. Kooser’s poems invite the reader to reflect on everyday items and to notice the small details and beauties of the world. He has a talent to express emotions in a way that the readers themselves will experience. He has been referred to as the master of the short metaphorical poem (Gioia). Kooser has lived in Iowa and Nebraska all of his life. His decision to remain in the Midwest has resulted in a limited audience for his work, but Gioia concludes by observing that Kooser “has written more perfect poems than any poet of his generation”
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Ted Kooser was born in Iowa in 1939 and now lives in a rural area of Nebraska. After flunking some of his courses in college, he took a management trainee job with an insurance company. He became the vice president of Bankers Life Insurance. At times he would show his secretary his poems. He would revise them when she didn’t understand them. Kooser said, "I never want to be thought of as pandering to a broad audience, but you can tweak a poem just slightly and broaden the audience very much. If you have a literary allusion, you limit the audience. Every choice requires a cost-benefit analysis." He felt that the structure of the insurance business actually stimulated his writing. He always would get up early in the morning and write for one and a half hours before work. Kooser would work so hard at making his poems clear that sometimes he would go through forty to fifty drafts (Lund).
In 1986 Kooser began sending postcards to about fifty female friends for valentines. Every year Kooser’s fame and audience grew. His mailing list grew as more fans asked to join. By 2007, his postcard list was 2,600. “In other words, don't think of "Valentines" as expensive red roses. This is a box of mixed chocolates, some of which are completely

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