One of the "Big Indie Books of Fall 2014"--Publishers Weekly
Paterson Poetry Prize, 2015
"Ted Kooser must be the most accessible and enjoyable major poet in America. His lines are so clear and simple."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Readers [of Splitting an Order] will find 'characters' both strange and wonderful, animal or human. There is a sense that time is passing quickly and that everything worthy must be captured and savored, from an old couple lovingly sharing a sandwich to another sowing seed potatoes to a tribute to an old dog who waits as age and winter approach... Master of the single-metaphor poem, Kooser offers images that evolve, fluid and unforced."--Library Journal, starred review
"Wisdom, compassion, and dignity continue to mark the poetry of Ted Kooser...Splitting an Order [is] a quiet collection that honors small victories and gives reasons to be hopeful."--Elizabeth Lund, The Christian Science Monitor
"Kooser's ability to discover the smallest detail and render it remarkable is a rare gift."--Bloomsbury Review
Pulitzer Prize winner and best selling poet Ted Kooser calls attention to the intimacies of life through commonplace objects and occurrences: an elderly couple sharing a sandwich is a study in transcendent love, while a tattered packet of spinach seeds calls forth innate human potential. This long-awaited collection from the former U.S. Poet Laureate--ten years in the making--is rich with quiet and profound magnificence.
From "Splitting an Order":
I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half
... and then to see him lift half
onto the extra plate that he asked the server to bring,
and then to wait, offering the plate to his wife
while she slowly unrolls her napkin and places her spoon,
her knife and her fork in their proper places,
then smoothes the starched white napkin over her knees
and meets his eyes and holds out both old hands to him.
Ted Kooser is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon Press), which won the Pulitzer Prize. A former US Poet Laureate, Kooser serves as editor for "American Life in Poetry," a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.