Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kaffeeklatsch (and Kooser)

Once again, I couldn't choose just one "K" word, so I present you with two:

Kaffeeklatsch:
Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com
I used to be a college English professor, and nearly every morning before classes started--and sometimes in the afternoons as well--a few of the other faculty members and I would grab our coffee and meet in the cafeteria or on benches outside the school and chat. These gatherings were often the highlight of my day--our own little Kaffeeklatsch! When I left teaching, one of the things I missed was this time I spent drinking coffee and talking with my coworkers, who had become good friends. 

Then a few years later, I became a stay-at-home mom. Mothering is often a lonely job. It's hard to get out, especially when the children are very small, and I found I missed my daily Kaffeeklatsch even more.

Before long, though, I realized something: the Internet had become my new Kaffeeklatsch!

Every day I sit with my coffee and log on to Twitter or read blogs and post in chat rooms and forums, and every day I talk online with like-minded people doing the same things. I've made so many friends on Twitter and here at my blog. (A big welcome to my new followers!) Some of these people have become close friends, ones I chat with nearly every day, and I sometimes imagine that we're sitting in our respective houses, sipping from our coffee cups and enjoying our own little Kaffeeklatsch. (And we don't even have to comb our hair first!)

Kooser:

Those of you who have visited my blog before probably know that I enjoy writing poetry. One of my biggest influences is Ted Kooser, who served as the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006. I admire him for being able to look at simple, everyday things--a tattoo, dishwater, applesauce--and see so much more. He writes mainly of the Midwest, where I was born, so perhaps that's part of the reason I can identify so well with his subjects and themes. His poetry, though, is universal, and it's the type of poetry I long to write: finding new, creative ways to look at the ordinary, to capture the heart of the simple things in life.

If you're interested in poetry, I recommend that you visit his site: www.tedkooser.net. He also writes a great weekly column, American Life in Poetry, which features contemporary American poems. You can find it at www.americanlifeinpoetry.org/


So tell me, have you enjoyed a Kaffeeklatsch lately or read any of Kooser's poems? Are there other poets you enjoy? I'm always looking for recommendations.

38 comments:

  1. love that term! kaffeeklatsch!
    and its meaning =)

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  2. kaffeklatsch! I think I might use that term from now on:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com
    Just A-Zing around!

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    1. It's fun to say!

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  3. No, but I'm definitely due for a kaffeklatsch! I work at the shop, but it's lonely here (all guys who do nothing but blah blah blah about bikes).

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  4. I've heard and used the word but never knew how to spell it. I guess maybe I've never actually seen it written down. Lovely word.

    Kooser I have heard of and read a little of. Thanks for the link. I love his style of poetry because it is genuine, relatable, and thoughtful.

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    1. I agree--it's a lovely word with a lovely meaning. :)

      What you said about Kooser: that's exactly why I like his style. He's not pretentious, and I love how he can find beauty and value in everyday things.

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  5. Great K words. I know exactly how you feel. I was a teacher until I quit to be a stay at home mom in 2007. Thank the Lord for the internet!

    New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, I'm thankful for the Internet!

      Thanks for following. I've followed you back. I really like your challenge theme.

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  6. that is so true--it is like a coffee group---love it!

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    1. Exactly! It's a wonderful word. :)

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  7. I don't drink coffee but I do so miss the people I used to teach with. We would have lunch in my classroom which let in the most light and had benches out back for days with perfect outside lunching weather. I miss that at my new job where my lunch schedule is after all the other teachers. I too agree that othering is sometimes so lonely...I missed adult conversations the most...and the internet was not in every household when my children were small.
    Happy A-Z April!

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    1. Your old classroom sounds lovely! It's wonderful to have that camaraderie with coworkers; it must be difficult now that your lunch schedule is different at the new school.

      I hear you about missing adult conversation. There are some days when I think I'd go insane without another adult to talk to. The Internet helps with that, for sure.

      Happy A to Z to you as well!

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  8. I always love my afternoon coffee break! :) I do better now that my kids are older-I don't get as lonely.
    Taylor
    www.thelumberjackswife.com

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    1. The early years are the hardest, that's for sure. I'm getting a little better now that my kids are old enough to play together and go on playdates with other kids. Sometimes my friend and I schedule schedule the playdates for ourselves--we need to talk to another adult--and the kids just come along! LOL

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  9. I've gotten to the point where I'm drinking coffee all day. So bad for me, but I can't stop!

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    1. I try to limit myself to just the morning, but some days that's so hard! I usually end up drinking a few cups a day.

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  10. It's really great that you found the same kind of connection through social media. There definitely is a sense of community when blogging. I never take time out to chill when I drink coffee during the week. It's always sitting at my desk or in the car as I travel from school to school. I like your idea, though. Maybe I'll give it a try.

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    1. I'm grateful to have found it. I'm not the biggest joiner in "real" life, so I don't know what I would have done without the opportunity to connect with others online.

      Hope you can give the virtual Kaffeeklatsch a try!

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  11. Thanks for visiting my blog, Dana. I love the word Kaffeklatsch and the idea of getting together with close friends every day - whether online or in person.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I just left a comment on your "J" post. :)

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  12. Thanks for posting. Kaffeklatsch is a great word. Impossible to spell, but great. I love the connections I am establishing from blogging friends.

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    1. LOL Impossible--yes! I must have checked the spelling a million times.

      I'm having a great time with the challenge as well, and I'm really enjoying adding new friends to my virtual Kaffeeklatsch!

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  13. My writer's group serves as my kaffeklatsch. Every monday we sit down and chat. Sometimes we even write or learn about writing.

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  14. Ohh I wrote about poets today, maybe you'd like to come and visit (with your coffee) and see what you think :)

    I'm sitting here with my tea right now, it's nice that we can all have little coffee breaks together. Lovely post!

    Nikki – inspire nordic

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    1. Thanks, Nikki. I would love to! I'll be right over. :)

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    2. This is such a cozy idea :) Before the challenge began I sometimes made a post on Saturdays with links to blog posts I like or funny websites, that sort of thing. Do you mind if I include this post in my next one? I'm not sure when it will be but I just love the idea of all of us having Kaffeeklatsch together :D

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    3. Sure, feel free to include it! I love the idea, too! :)

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  15. Hi Dana! I'm that other person (though I suppose there might have been more than two of us) who gave the letter K to Ted Kooser. You nailed it in your post. It is his simple, clear voice and the images he creates that make him so attractive to me. I am certain you are familiar with Mary Oliver? She has that same tone for me.
    I am so excited to discover your blog. By glancing at some of your previous posts, I can see that we certainly share some common interests .... and my pen name has always been graciewilde - love your appreciation of the word Grace - I wish I could figure out how to change my moniker on Blogger. I am looking forward to following you -- JT

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    1. I love Mary Oliver, too, and I agree that she has the same kind of tone as Kooser. If I had to pick one to be my favorite, though, I would choose Kooser. There's something about his writing that really strikes a chord with me.

      It's great that we have so much in common! I look forward to following your blog as well. :)

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    2. Agreed - Kooser over Oliver - and both over Billy Collins....

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    3. Yes, I completely agree. We're definitely kindred spirits!

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