"So This is Nebraska" read by Dick Cavett
Nebraska native Dick Cavett reads the iconic Ted Kooser poem "So This is Nebraska." The performance was part of the N|150 Charter Day Celebration: Music and Milestones, February 15, 2019 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
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[00:00:03.720]So This is Nebraska, a poem by Ted Kooser.
[00:00:10.550]The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
[00:00:13.490]over the fields, the telephone lines
[00:00:16.630]streaming behind, its billow of dust
[00:00:20.090]full of the sparks of redwing blackbirds.
[00:00:24.730]On either side, those dear old ladies,
[00:00:27.220]the loosening barns, their little windows
[00:00:30.180]dulled by cataracts of hay and cobwebs
[00:00:33.610]hide broken tractors under their skirts.
[00:00:39.110]So this is Nebraska.
[00:00:41.290]A Sunday afternoon, July,
[00:00:44.650]driving along with your hand out squeezing the air,
[00:00:48.830]a meadowlark waiting on every post.
[00:00:53.550]Behind a shelterbelt of cedars,
[00:00:55.970]top-deep in hollyhocks, pollen and bees,
[00:00:59.970]a pickup kicks its fenders off
[00:01:02.740]and settles back to read the clouds.
[00:01:06.940]You feel like that, you feel like letting
[00:01:10.150]your tires go flat, like letting the mice
[00:01:13.470]build a nest in your muffler,
[00:01:15.910]like being no more than a truck in the weeds,
[00:01:19.140]clucking with chickens or sticky with honey
[00:01:22.400]or holding a skinny old man in your lap
[00:01:26.200]while he watches the road,
[00:01:29.110]waiting for someone to wave to.
[00:01:33.400]You feel like waving.
[00:01:35.650]You feel like stopping the car
[00:01:37.390]and dancing around on the road.
[00:01:39.860]You wave instead and leave your hand out
[00:01:44.170]gliding lark-like over the wheat,
[00:01:49.200]over the houses.
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