“Every stranger’s tolerance for poetry is compromised by much more important demands on his or her time,” says Kooser.
“Therefore, I try to honor my reader’s patience and generosity by presenting what I have to say as clearly and succinctly as possible .... Also, I try not to insult the reader’s good sense by talking down; I don’t see anything to gain by alluding to intellectual experiences that the reader may not have had.
"I do what I can to avoid being rude or offensive; most strangers, understandably, have a very low tolerance for displays of pique or anger or hysteria. Being harangued by a poet rarely endears a reader.
"I am also extremely wary of over cleverness; there is a definite limit to how much intellectual showing off a stranger can tolerate.”
To read the Monitor’s review of “Valentines,” Kooser’s new book of love poems, click here.