For Starr Atkinson, Who Designed Books
Oldest of words, of sounds: star.
Everything of that name perishes.
The sun will reclaim each planet,
the galaxy collapse, light itself
siphon down into a last darkness.
From you I learned how images balance
in the white space of each page,
how pages unfold like leaves,
how light and dark interpenetrate,
how what we do will not be noticed.
Light from those stars coming deep
from space, reaching our own eyes
in darkness, at the top of a hill;
words on a page keeping the old sounds,
the ones worth saying another time.
[from Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems]
The first volume in the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series. From the publisher’s Web site: