Tag: appearances

The Poet’s Cardboard Box

Ted Kooser

Ted Kooser, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, wrote in The Poetry Home Repair Manual, “One of my first writing places was a cardboard refrigerator box pushed into the corner of the bedroom in a tiny apartment my first wife and I rented while I was in graduate school. I sat in the box to write my poems, and taped the drafts on the cardboard walls.”

A cardboard box isn’t an ideal desk to write on but I think Kooser understood, given the circumstances, that the writing itself was what mattered, not how it looked to others. Of course, if he could afford a desk he would have wrote on a desk.

It’s easy to get hung up on appearances and forget that the substance of a thing isn’t always revealed by its appearance. The beard does not make the philosopher.


The first issue of my newsletter is out. If you’d like some book, film and music recommendations check it out here.