Im not sure just how it happens, but now and then I find a writer who writes seemingly mundane stuff, and at first I think, well, okay. So he was poet laureate, so she was a big deal.
This is boring. And I keep reading, suddenly stunned by something that really has no words to express it-- a link, a connection, the way the words fit together, the spirit, perhaps,
of the writer that lingers in the poem--
Someone writes a simple, 12 line poem about snow, and I can see that snow, feel it, Im in the middle of all of it. I read a poem about walking across a yard in early spring, and there is the yard, that feeling of damp, the smell of soggy hay, of mud, of a much too warm south wind blowing at me--and I think, what just happened here? It has to be more than just the words on the page, more than the fact of celebrity, or skill with words; hell, im a poet myself, and I can't understand it, even though now and then I find myself reaching that same place in something I write, something that resonates for someone else.
In some way the writer enters his own poem, and leaves bits of himself in there for the rest of us to find.
Ted Kooser, thank you. Jane Kenyon, thank you.