Archive for October 23, 2009

Late for Work

I picked up David Tucker’s poetry collection, Late for Work, because of the words on the back cover:

David Tucker has been writing Late for Work throughout his twenty-eight year career at top city newspapers.  In his poems he follows reporters hustling for stories and captures the beauty of everyday life lived between breaking headlines.

I was interested in what a reporter/poet would have to say about life at a newspaper —  In another life, many years before I started teaching, I was a reporter for a small town newspaper in Western Pennsylvania.  I only stayed at the job for about two years — mostly because of the pay (or lack thereof) and the simple fact that it was a position with no real chance of advancement.  Still, it was a great experience, and I do keep in contact with some of the people I worked with.

At first I was disappointed that all the poems in this collection were not about newspaper work.  But I quickly got over the disappointment.  Yes, Tucker does captures moments of news and the lives of  reporters striving for stories.  But many of his poems are glimpses of everyday people and everyday life.   In fact, I read this book twice to see how he worked a reporter’s life into poetry of the rest of the world.  The final poem in the collection, “Today’s News,” is simply stunning.  In this poem,  the poet states, “Working these long hours/you forget how beautiful the early evening can be.”   I can relate to this — news is often ugly, and when I worked at my small town newspaper I saw this ugliness everyday.  To make it worse, I often knew the people involved in the news and the ugliness.  But this last poem reminds us that no matter where we work, and how discouraging a day at the job can be, that there is still wonder in the world.