97. American Life in Poetry: Column 409

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

It’s wonderful when a very young person discovers the pleasures of poetry and gives it a try. Here’s a poem by a first grader, Andrew Jones of Tacoma, Washington, who, if we’re lucky, will go on to write poems the rest of his life.

The Softest Word

The softest word is leaf
it zigzags
in the air and
falls on the yellow ground

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. Poem copyright ©2011 by Seattle Arts and Lectures, from their most recent book of poems, Our Beautiful Robotic Hearts, Seattle Arts and Lectures, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Seattle Arts and Lectures. Introduction copyright © 2013 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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