Poem of the Week

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May.  Or that it’s almost 90 degrees here in DC.  Anyway, despite the August-like-heat, it’s peak wedding season: I went to one last weekend and am going another this weekend, and pretty much everyone I know seems to be attending weddings as well.  Yay for newlyweds!  And hideous bridesmaids’ dresses!  And personalized napkins!  And sentimental speeches!  And, you know, love and all that.  So for this week’s dose of poetry, I picked out this sweet one by former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

It appears in his 2008 collection Valentines, a compilation of the postcard poems he sent to women across the country (up to 2,700 by the end of the project) every February 14 for over twenty years.  How endearing is that?  Thanks to my mom for sharing this poem with me.  Hope you like it too.

A Map of the World

by Ted Kooser

One of the ancient maps of the world
is heart-shaped, carefully drawn
and once washed with bright colors,
though the colors have faded
as you might expect feelings to fade
from a fragile old heart, the brown map
of a life. But feeling is indelible,
and longing infinite, a starburst compass
pointing in all the directions
two lovers might go, a fresh breeze
swelling their sails, the future uncharted,
still far from the edge
where the sea pours into the stars.


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