If you haven’t read poetry in a while, now is the perfect time to start again – April is National Poetry Month.
In his National Poetry Month proclamation, Governor Inslee called on
“…all the people of Washington to observe National Poetry Month in a more meaningful, personal way…as a means to offer comfort and solace to those who are suffering as a result of the Oso mudslide.”
The Washington State Arts Commission runs the forum. Among the poems you can find there is one written by Elizabeth Austen, the Washington State Poet Laureate.
If you would like to read poetry written by other Washington state poets, browse the Washington State Library’s collection for the poetry books listed in our catalog.
Here are just a few excerpts from that collection that might, as the governor said, “offer comfort and solace.”
I’m saved in this big world by unforeseen
friends, or times when only a glance
from a passenger beside me, or just the tired
branch of a willow inclining toward earth,
may teach me how to join earth and sky.
Even in Quiet Places by William Stafford (1996)
At the far end of a trip north
In a berry-pickers cabin
At the edge of a wide muddy field
Stretching to the woods and cloudy mountains,
Feeding the stove all afternoon with cedar,
Watching the dark sky darken, a heron flap by,
Riprap, & Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder (1965)
We walk on round stones, all flawlessly bedded,
Where water drags the cracked dome of the sky
Riverbed by David Wagoner (1972)
His Father’s Whistle
For hours the boy fought sleep,
strained against the whir of cicadas, moths
at the screens bumbling, night’s
blue breezes, to hear out on the country road
his father’s car rumbling in gravel.
Earthly Meditations by Robert Wrigley (2006)
Once more it’s the rainbow leaps
and foldings of the old process,
a whole border of pink roses
growing wild on the horizon.
The Dark Path of Our Names by Joan Swift (1985)
Mount Alaska Stream
In the pines
where the sun never shines
a small, damp fire filled mountains
green lungs of each century
Orcas Island by Don Wilsun (1980)
Untitled by Nasira Alma
down the blooming rocks
Sunlight through Rain: A Northwest Haiku Year (1996)
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