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Praying Hands

A poem by Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
  • There is at least one pair
  • in every thrift shop in America,
  • molded in plastic or plaster of paris
  • and glued to a plaque,
  • or printed in church-pamphlet colors
  • and framed under glass.
  • Today I saw a pair made out of
  • lightweight wire stretched over a pattern
  • of finishing nails.
  • This is the way faith goes
  • from door to door,
  • cast out of one and welcomed at another.
  • A butterfly presses its wings like that
  • as it rests between flowers.


Ted Kooser, who was born in Ames, Iowa, on April 25, 1939, was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2004 to 2006. Librarian of Congress James Billington said of his appointment: “Ted Kooser is a major poetic voice for rural and small town America and the first Poet Laureate chosen from the Great Plains. His verse reaches beyond his native region to touch on universal themes in accessible ways.” In 2005, a year after his appointment as Poet Laureate, Kooser was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. A master of the brief, imagistic lyric and a poet of precision and gracious humanity, Kooser is one of America’s most accomplished poets. He lives near Garland, Nebraska, with his wife Kathleen Rutledge, former editor of the
Lincoln Journal Star. “Praying Hands” is from his collection Delights and Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press. It is used here by permission.

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Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
  • There is at least one pair
  • in every thrift shop in America,
  • molded in plastic or plaster of paris
  • and glued to a plaque,
  • or printed in church-pamphlet colors
  • and framed under glass.
  • Today I saw a pair made out of
  • lightweight wire stretched over a pattern
  • of finishing nails.
  • This is the way faith goes
  • from door to door,
  • cast out of one and welcomed at another.
  • A butterfly presses its wings like that
  • as it rests between flowers.


Ted Kooser, who was born in Ames, Iowa, on April 25, 1939, was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2004 to 2006. Librarian of Congress James Billington said of his appointment: “Ted Kooser is a major poetic voice for rural and small town America and the first Poet Laureate chosen from the Great Plains. His verse reaches beyond his native region to touch on universal themes in accessible ways.” In 2005, a year after his appointment as Poet Laureate, Kooser was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. A master of the brief, imagistic lyric and a poet of precision and gracious humanity, Kooser is one of America’s most accomplished poets. He lives near Garland, Nebraska, with his wife Kathleen Rutledge, former editor of the
Lincoln Journal Star. “Praying Hands” is from his collection Delights and Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press. It is used here by permission.

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Comments
2

interestingly sacred...love it's uncomplicated message

Dec. 24, 2011

and ur my age exactly!!!!

Dec. 25, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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