The Poetry Home Repair Manual book review

Tonight I started reading Ted Kooser’s ‘The Poetry Home Repair Manual.’ Mr. Kooser is the US Poet Laureate, so of course I thought that the experience of reading this book, which has been recommended to me repeatedly as the best book for beginning poets, would be something on the scale of a root canal.

It is SO not that! I am on chapter one and I am laughing. Ted Kooser is a jewel, a down to earth, genuine, and delightful person. I was so impressed and I’m enjoying this book so much that I decided to stop and make myself a cup of hot tea with lemon and share with you an excerpt from the first chapter.

Speaking of himself as a young poet, Mr. Kooser says, “I let my hair grow longer and tried to grow a beard. I carried big fat books wherever I went–like Adolph Harnack’s ‘Outlines of the History of Dogma’ and Kierkegaard’s ‘Fear and Trembling.’ I couldn’t have understood a word of these books if I’d tried, but they looked really good clenched under my arm.”  Ha! Who of us that have been writing poetry since we were in our teens cannot relate?