American Life in Poetry: Column 163

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I have always enjoyed poems that celebrate the small pleasures of life. Here Max Mendelsohn, age 12, of Weston, Massachusetts, tells us of the joy he finds in playing with marbles.

Ode to Marbles

I love the sound of marbles   
scattered on the worn wooden floor,   
like children running away in a game of hide-and-seek.   
I love the sight of white marbles,   
blue marbles,   
green marbles, black,   
new marbles, old marbles,   
iridescent marbles,   
with glass-ribboned swirls,   
dancing round and round.   
I love the feel of marbles,   
cool, smooth,   
rolling freely in my palm,   
like smooth-sided stars   
that light up the worn world.


We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2004 by The Children’s Art Foundation. Reprinted from Stone Soup, May/June, 2004, by permission of the publisher, www.stonesoup.com. Introduction copyright © 2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.