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Valentines by Ted Kooser
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Valentines

by Ted Kooser

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This is a light poetry collection from Nebraskan and former U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) Ted Kooser. Starting in 1986, Kooser composed a Valentine's Day poem and mailed it (first to 50 women friends, but in more recent years to more than 2,500 women friends) around the country, to arrive on the holiday. This book collects the first 22 years of Kooser's tradition, and accompanies the poems with attractive, homey pen-and-ink illustrations by Robert Hanna. The poems range from serious to whimsical and touch on all aspects of the Valentine's Day holiday, from the stereotypical hearts, flowers and chocolates trappings, to explorations of love and friendship. These poems will make you think, will force you to explore your own feelings, and will make you appreciate the loved ones in your own life. If you've never read Kooser's poetry before -- and his work regularly appears in the local newspaper, so why haven't you? -- this is a marvelous collection to get started with. Make it an annual tradition to read Valentines by Ted Kooser on Valentine's Day!

Originally reviewed for the staff recommendations page of my local libraries' website: http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/bookguide/srec/staffrec11-02.htm ( )
  cannellfan | Nov 1, 2011 |
Sweet and unassuming. I especially liked the poem about the 2 men, apparently homeless, playing checkers in the park with chocoloate candy as the game pieces. And the image of the "little red valentine barns" dotting the landscape "with an X of white boards on the door/as if making a spot for the heart." ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Oct 28, 2010 |
This is Kooser's collection of the annual Valentine poems Kooser would send to any woman who requested one. Oh, and these are Valentines any woman would want to get. The Valentines are accessible and have a sense of humor, and several of them feature some very interesting treatments of time and presence. Brilliant. ( )
  keely_chace | Oct 18, 2008 |
For years Kooser carried on a Valentine’s day tradition. He mailed a short poem on a postcard to women that he knew, an annual event that grew over the years. This book is a compilation of those valentine cards.

Far from maudlin or sentimental, the topics are varied and always interesting. Highly recommended. ( )
  samfsmith | May 8, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803217706, Hardcover)

For Valentine’s Day 1986, Ted Kooser wrote “Pocket Poem” and sent the tender, thoughtful composition to fifty women friends, starting an annual tradition that would persist for the next twenty-one years. Printed on postcards, the poems were mailed to a list of recipients that eventually grew to more than 2,500 women all over the United States. Valentines collects Kooser’s twenty-two years of Valentine’s Day poems, complemented with illustrations by Robert Hanna and a new poem appearing for the first time.
 
Kooser’s valentine poems encompass all the facets of the holiday: the traditional hearts and candy, the brilliance and purity of love, the quiet beauty of friendship, and the bittersweetness of longing. Some of the poems use the word valentine, others do not, but there is never any doubt as to the purpose of Kooser’s creations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:49 -0400)

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