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Recently Santa Clara county appointed its first ever Poet Laureate, Nils Peterson. Peterson hopes to help make poetry more accessible to people who otherwise might not "get" poetry. Isn't that what Poetry Friday is all about?

From a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News about Peterson:

"When you write poetry, you see the world differently, you see it more sharply," muses Peterson, who refers to himself as a coffee shop poet. "If you look at things hard enough, they start to look back at you."

The poet hopes that language can help us catch our breath in the world as change comes fast and hard all around us.

"Poetry takes a snapshot of where we are so we can look back," says Peterson. "We are all moving so quickly that we forget, we begin to live in a perpetual present. Poetry helps us remember."

You can read more about Peterson at the Poetry Center San Jose.

Where Here Is

How will we know where here is
until it tells us, until this oak speaks
its story and these grasses whisper
what their mothers said to them
when they were seedlings? The crow
overhead is not just a carrier of
crowness. It speaks with the caw
of its own life. The air about us
is this air carrying smell messages
from the majesty of this place.
Knowing where here is — is paying
back the world with our attention,
not planting a heavy foot on the shore
of the earth like a conquistador.

— Nils Peterson

The round-up of all the Poetry Friday posts in the blogosphere can be found with Kelly Polark.
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 6 comments — Leave comment )
(Deleted comment)
May 19th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Ack - thought I had replied to this. Sorry. I would really love to take a class on line breaks because there is so much I don't know, don't understand about it.
May 16th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for the introduction to this poet! Love his enthusiasm for sharing poetry!
May 19th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. I really appreciate his enthusiasm too.

Thanks for doing the round-up hosting last week.
May 18th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
I like the poem, and this line of Mr. Peterson's: "If you look at things hard enough, they start to look back at you."

I will remember that next time I am stuck ... and do a little more staring - and expecting the look back.

Violet (Book Brew (http://bookbrew.wordpress.com))
May 19th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, isn't that the truth? The more we stare, the more we see.
( 6 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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