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Podcasts from former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser

You can download video podcasts of these segments through iTunes™ or manually from this page. When you click on the links below, the podcast will be saved to your hard drive. Then you can import it into iTunes or transfer to a video iPod. You can then play back the video to a full classroom or individual study. We have a page of technical suggestions on how to use QuickTime movies in a classroom here. You also subscribe to the Video Podcasts through the popular iTunes software for both the Mac and PCs. Simply click on the iTunes button below and then click on the “Subscribe” button. Then, as new video podcasts are added to this site, they will automatically download when you open iTunes.


Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser says a poem that began as an exercise in resentment became a love poem to a state.

“Abandoned Farmhouse” is a poem that is reproduced in several school literature textbooks. This video podcast uses small details to fill out a full story of the lives lived in an abandoned farmhouse.

“Something is calling to me / from the corners of field,” says Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate, in this video podcast.

Because he grew up in the Midwest, former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser has heard perhaps hundreds of ways to foretell the future. In this video podcast, Ted Kooser reads his poetric renderings of folklore weather predictions.

In this video podcast of his poem, Ted Kooser says “Osage” is a gift from the Great Plains to the world.

No one but a poet would look out of a bus and see a barn “loosen itself from its old foundations.” In this video podcast, Ted Kooser transforms a quick glance into an imaginative evocation of rural life.

In this short video podcast, Ted Kooser explores how he feels when he experiences the “Great Plains in Winter.”

The former U.S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, reads “Tillage Marks,” a poem about the marks that farm tools make on stones in a farmer’s field in this video podcast.

For 20 years, Ted Kooser wrote a new poem each Valentine’s Day. He sent them as postcards to his wife and friends. In this video podcast, Ted reads a Valentine’s Day poem that still has a rural theme, “Barn Owl.”

When horses were introduced to the North American continent by the Spanish explorers, the lives of Native Americans, European settlers and American farmers changed profoundly. Ted Kooser reads a short poem about the primal power of the “Horse.”

During World War II, folks at home listened closely to war news on the radio. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser reads his poem “Zenith” in this video podcast.

Ted Kooser says that, “when they’re lucky, poets can give people ways of looking at the world afresh.” Here, Ted reads “Spring Plowing” One reader was so moved by the poem that she wrote she would never look at a newly plowed field in the same way again.

On any given day, you might find former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser touring country cemetaries around his rural Nebraska home. In this podcast, Ted reads “There Is Always a Little Wind.”

In this video podcast, former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser reads “The Great Grandparents”. Ted remembers meeting them at the train depot and the sense of history that they brought with them in their very beings.

How did a nation of pioneers settle down and accept the limits of civilization? Former U.S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, reads “City Limits” in this video podcast.

In this video podcast, Ted Kooser reads “Memory” that, he says, is about the way memory works for writers It’s also about some of the touchstones of rural life. (Note that this is a 21 MB file that may take a while to download)

Underwriting for the Wessels Living History Farm has also been provided by these Silver Donors:

  • Dale and Joan Clark
  • Don R. Freeman
  • C. G. (Kelly) & Virginia Holthus
  • Conner Roofing Company, Inc.
  • Greg and Kris Holoch
  • Boyd and Elaine Stuhr

Recognized! Some of the Awards that the Farm and this Web Site has Received

The 1920s section of this site was developed by the Interactive Media Unit of Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.
The 1930s, 1940s, 1950s-60s and 70s to Today sections were developed by The Ganzel Group Communications of Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Looking for the Living History Farms in Urbandale Iowa? Click here. [http://www.lhf.org]