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Weather Central

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Ted Kooser’s third book in the Pitt Poetry Series is a selection of poems published in literary journals over a ten year period by a writer whose work has been praised for its clarity and accessiblity, its mastery of figurative language, and its warmth and charm.
Paperback, 104 pages
Published September 27th 1994 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published January 1st 1994)
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Sean the Bookonaut
Ted Kooser like Billy Collins, another American poet laureate, strikes me as a keen observer of the everyday. Reading Weather Central I am drawn into the culture and rhythm of the American Midwest. Hardships (past and present) faced by rural communities, the rhythm of life. He’s one of those poets who can draw our mind to an everyday event and make it seem momentous or profound.

His conversational tone, his uncomplicated diction and syntax, make him accessible to a broad audience and I’d especia
Kooser at 54, instead of 77:


I scratched your name in longhand
on the night, then you wrote mine.
I couldn't see you, near me,
laughing and chasing my name
through the air, but I could hear
your heart, I think, and feel your breath
against the darkness, hurrying.

One word swirled out of your hand
as you rushed hard to write it
all the way out to its end
before its beginning was gone.
It left a frail red line
trembling along on the darkness,
and that was my name, my name.

--- rushed hard.
Sheila Rocha
Dec 28, 2007 Sheila Rocha rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nebraska Poetry lovers, and of course Kooserites
Weather Central truly contains some rich work that also demonstrates Ted Kooser’s diversity in topic and form. My particular draw to the poem, City Limits, arrives out of Kooser’s simultaneous lament and salute for a way of life that has all but disappeared. Yet, we can see the direct connection between this piece and the works we’ve been reading throughout the semester. I think for me, I found in this poem an explanation as well as affirmation for many of the characters we’ve read—an aesthetic ...more
Another soothing collection of poetry with concise, poignant imagery. What I like most about Kooser is that he glorifies the every day in a way that is not gaudy or excessive. Rather, his verses leave me feeling like I have been granted a privilege in beholding the 'other' in the everyday- the individual on the street, the deer in the lake, the age I've yet to reach. Calming yet not forgettable.
Benjamin Vineyard
I've just finished *Weather Central* and am floating along a stream of nostalgia, smiling at the simple wonder of what I just drifted by. I'd like to see it again, but the river takes me on. I only have Kooser's words to go by.


They say a life unexamined is a life lived not to its full potential and I say you can't examine if you aren't able to notice.

Ted Kooser's poetry is a perfected art of noticing - a discovery that all things are sacred, particularly the little things.

Rural life and so
José Santos
An apparently insignificant object or moment becomes magical and memorable.
Part one hooked me.
In a lot of ways, I feel that this is more of a three star collection in that it feels a bit uneven at times.

The poems "Etude" and "Sparklers," though, are such powerful five-star poems that I erred on the side of generosity.

Jeff Laughlin
I like this, but I don't love it. Maybe it deserves better than two stars, and I will reread some of the poems soon enough.
Dec 26, 2008 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
This is a little darker in general than Kooser's other work, but very good and in the same style.
Kooser has become a favorite of mine due to his skillful metaphor and observation of the simple.
Dec 30, 2013 SA rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
So Ted Kooser is basically my poet laureate forever.

I am in awe of his skill and vision.
Once again, some good enjoyable poems, but nothing to stir the soul.
I love reading any poetry this man writes.
1994 Kooser. Good stuff.
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Ted Kooser lives in rural Nebraska with his wife, Kathleen, and three dogs. He is one of America's most noted poets, having served two terms as U. S. Poet Laureate and, during the second term, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection, DELIGHTS & SHADOWS. He is a retired life insurance executive who now teaches part-time at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The school board ...more
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