Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser
As an aspiring writer, I have received and purchased several books and magazines claiming they will help me become better at my craft. Most are dull, uninspiring, chock full of common sense, and aren't worth anyone's time. The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser is a pearl among pigs.
Although he only talks about poetry, most everything he says can be applied to the writing of any genre. As a noted poet himself - the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress, to name one of his accolades - it's not his forte to write nonfiction. This is why, I feel, he was able to do it so successfully. His voice is immediately accessible and so very human. It lacked all the robotic and preachy traits I'd previously learned to accept with the territory when reading a self-help book about writing.
I learned something new - and most importantly, I learned something helpful - on every page. Every time I put it down I just wanted to break out MS Word and start writing. It's this kind of raw inspiration that makes Kooser's manual a book that should own real estate on every writer's personal bookshelf.
The Poetry Home Repair Manual is a book I hope to come to again and again over time. I have a feeling I'll get even more out of it the second time around.