Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison, Ted Kooser, 2000

A re-reading of this slim book of poetry by a Nebraska poet who was our Poet Laureate in 2011-12.  Kooser is a plain-speaking poet with a great eye for nature and a wonderful facility with metaphor and symbol.  His project is one of ‘conceptual art’ that totally appealed to me:  undergoing chemotherapy he was urged to get exercise and stay out of the sun so he began 100 days of walking the Nebraska rural roads by his home at dawn.  He then wrote a poem after every walk and sent it on a postcard to his friend, the author Jim Harrison.  The poems are beautiful—lyric paeans to the rural countryside, its birds and critters, its harsh winter weather, its abandoned barns and weathered farmhouses, and its dirt roads glittering with snow and ice.  Wonderful concept and wonderful poems.  Happily, Kooser is still with us 16 years late; sadly, Harrison died last year.  This is a book worth owning so as to dip into each November through March when the dark and cold season is upon us.