The Giant Slide

By Ted Kooser b. 1939 Ted Kooser
Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn’t been used   
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted   
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out   
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories   
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters   
of laughter. Call it a passing fancy,
this slide that nobody slides down now.   
Those screams have all gone east
on a wind that will never stop blowing   
down from the Rockies and over the plains,   
where things catch on for a little while,   
bright leaves in a fence, and then are gone.

Ted Kooser, “The Giant Slide” from One World at a Time. Copyright © 1985 by Ted Kooser. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: One World At A Time (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985)

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Poet Ted Kooser b. 1939

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Time & Brevity, Youth, Living

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Ted  Kooser


Poet and essayist Ted Kooser is known for his honest, accessible verse that celebrates the quotidian and captures a vanishing way of life. Brad Leithauser wrote in the New York Times Book Review that, “Whether or not he originally set out to…[Kooser’s] become, perforce, an elegist.” Populated by farmers, family ancestors, and heirlooms, Kooser’s poems reflect his abiding interest in the past, but escape nostalgia in part because . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Time & Brevity, Youth, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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