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American Life in Poetry

A feature provided by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006

I was born in April and have never agreed with T.S. Eliot that it is “the cruellest month.” Why would I want to have been born from that? Here’s Robert Hedin, who lives in Minnesota, showing us what April can be like once Eliot is swept aside.
 

This Morning I Could Do/A Thousand Things

I could fix the leaky pipe

Under the sink, or wander over

And bother Jerry who’s lost

In the bog of his crankcase.

I could drive the half-mile down

To the local mall and browse

Through the bright stables

Of mowers, or maybe catch

The power-walkers puffing away

On their last laps. I could clean

The garage, weed the garden,

Or get out the shears and

Prune the rose bushes back.

Yes, a thousand things

This beautiful April morning.

But I’ve decided to just lie

Here in this old hammock,

Rocking like a lazy metronome,

And wait for the day lilies

To open. The sun is barely

Over the trees, and already

The sprinklers are out,

Raining their immaculate

Bands of light over the lawns.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

 

Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

 

"If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry."
    -- Emily Dickinson


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