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Saturday, January 22, 2011

ABANDONED HOUSE


Ted Kooser wrote a poem titled  "Abandoned House." In his poem he paints a picture of a family that lived a rather destitute life in a country house. I have selected a few of Kooser's lines to portray the depravity that led ultimately to the house's abandonment.
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes . . .


A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs
 . . .

Money was scarce . . .


Something went wrong, says the empty house . . .

she left in a nervous haste.




Perhaps the family lived in an old country home like the one I have pictured here. Now almost biting the dust.



I'm sure you have had  thoughts about who the persons were that once occupied an uninhabited house along some farm road. 

Mr. Kooser uses words to draw pictures, attempting to capture the lives that once existed in his poem's vacant house.





Ted Kooser was the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 -2006.He has had nineteen books published on poetry. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book titled Delights and Shadows. He also has illustrated children's books. 

Source: "Abandoned House," Sure Signs, New Selected Poems, Ted Kooser, Zoland Books

Photos: abandoned farm house, Madison County, Kentucky



36 comments:

  1. The perfect words for this poignant picture!

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  2. Oh my....that is really quite beautiful.....
    And yes, I DO always wonder. When we were younger and living in the country we would often sneak in a window. It was never disappointing.

    Simply beautiful.

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  3. Thank you! I'm always sad to see abandoned houses and always wonder why. I'm going to find Ted's book -- what I saw here was wonderful.

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  4. I love the device of having the elements in the house speak. I'll have to look for more of his poems on the internet. Thanks.

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  5. I like the post and the poem very much. Its so fitting, I have had such thoughts when wandering about photographing some farming landscapes that are no more. Thanks.

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  6. I'm a Ted Kooser fan! He wrote a very helpful booked called a "Manual" for poets that I find one of the most sensible books for those who want to write a poem now and then.

    Your pictures are beautifully sad and perfect with the poem.

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  7. Love that poem and your images. Walking the rooms it's hard not to think of the family and their lives.

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  8. Love the central chimney in this house form.

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  9. Vicki -- Yes, Ted Kooser's poem really set the mood for the photos. Thanks -- barbara

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  10. MiMi -- When I was young, married with children we actually moved into an old abandoned farmhouse complete with lots of mice, dead birds, broken windows etc. -- I loved the challenge of turning it into a home but at first I felt the aura of its past owners. Thanks barbara

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  11. Hi Kay -- Libraries have lots of Ted's books also, many used on Amazon.I buy used for most of my books.I've always loved his poetry and the man himself. Thanks -- barbara

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  12. Kass - From his online bio, "Kooser is widely praised for his plainspoken style, his gift for metaphor, and his quiet discoveries of beauty in ordinary things." This quote spells out the very reasons I like him. -- barbara

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  13. June, I am so glad you mentioned his book, "Manual." I am not one to write poetry although I wish I had the talent. Maybe I should get the book and try my hand. I am sure other readers will appreciate that you mentioned it. Thanks for the comment and the info -- barbara

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  14. Farmchick, I know that you are a fan of old structures. Doesn't it pain you to see these lovely old farmhouses decaying as you travel the Kentucky landscape. -- barbara

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  15. Birdman -- Thank you for the comments on my images and the Kooser poem. I think if he would have been a photographer rather than a poet he would still be able to tell intriguing stories with his camera -- much like you do. -- barbara

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  16. qpb- Your post photos are great. I read your posts on a regular basis. Thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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  17. I love them both, the poem and the house. It is a shame these homes are left to slowly fall apart.

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  18. I so loved your post! THanks for sharing!

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  19. That poem perfectly sums up that photo and vica versa.

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  20. jANET -- So many old houses are left to degrade into a pile of rubble. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  21. Jayne -- Wish I could write half as well as Ted Looser. Thanks for stopping by. -- barbara

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  22. Ronda -- Thanks for the nice comment and stopping by -- barbara

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  23. What a wonderful post Barbara. The poem and the photos worked so well together.

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  24. Mama -Bug -- I'm sure you have seen many abandoned houses on your travel with your camera. Thnaks for the comment -- barbara

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  25. Thanks for your comments on my blog. I'm glad to discover your blog. I love the photos and your curiosity about old buildings and the stories they tell. I'm glad to find someone else who appreciates old things.

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  26. Kathy -- Your blog is refreshing -- about nature, dirt, fire, meditation and assorted other things.
    I have been reading your blog often -- ever since I found it. Thanks for the nice comment -- barbara

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  27. Thanks for the introduction to Ted Kooser. I must seek out more of his work!

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  28. For those of us who wonder about old, abandoned houses and wish they could tell us their stories, Ted Kooser shows that indeed they do, and how they do it. Very creative, poignant poem that goes beautifully with your photographs! Loved this post! (And I thank you for the introduction to Ted Kooser!)

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  29. Tess -- Nice that you like Ted Kooser. His poems reflect small towns and rural cultures. Thanks -- barbara

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  30. Laloofah -- Happy to introduce Ted Kooser -- and thanks for the nice comment on the photos. Sad to see so many homes on our rural landscapes disappearing. -- barbara

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  31. love this barbara! very thought provoking...went to lexington today and there is an abandoned farmhouse and two barns perched on top of an empty field. from the interstate, i have no clue how to get there but always wanted to stroll around, peer in the windows and take lots and lots of photos! this post was perfect for me this evening! thank you!!!! jill

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  33. Jill -- So you were in my territory when you spotted the old abandoned house. Unfortunately there are too many gorgeous old homes with outbuildings that are just sitting on the landscape deteriorating. Be careful walking around old homesteads -- well holes are usually uncovered and not seen when there are weeds. I knew a woman that fell down one -- she lived but messed up her leg. -- barbara

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  34. no wonder we enjoy each other's posts! That is my #1 favorite Kooser poem.

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  35. Granny sue -- Yes, I do enjoy your posts. Ted Kooser is very much a favorite of mine too. thanks for stopping -- barbara

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  36. Old houses have such secrets, you can't help guessing what might have been. The poem is a beautiful match for your photos.

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