- Barred Owl
He takes whichever seat is availableat the back of the dawn and settles in,pulling his old gray overcoat around him,and now and then throughout the morninghe hoots, but softly, like a man calling outfrom a dream. None of us could find himif we looked, but if we hoot correctlysometimes he’ll come, soundless, tree to treelike somebody shuffling along in his slippers,eyes burning, peevish for being disturbed,his claws curled back and hidden in his sleeves. [End Page 189]
Ted Kooser served two terms as poet laureate of the US. He has been the recipient of many other awards and honors, including the Stanley Kunitz Prize, the James Boatwright Prize, several Pushcart Prizes (most recently in 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (2005). He has published thirteen volumes of poetry, five nonfiction books and three books for children. His most recent books are Splitting an Order (Copper Canyon P, 2014) and The Wheeling Year; A Poet’s Field Book (U of Nebraska P, 2014). The Bell in the Bridge (Candlewick Press), a book for children, is forthcoming in 2015. In addition, he edits “American Life in Poetry,” a column which appears weekly in more than 150 newspapers. He currently teaches poetry writing as a Presidential Professor at The University of Nebraska.