Afterthought #47 – Silence and Poetry

Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen ends her two-year term on February 1. One of her reflections about her experience is a lovely follow-up to my post earlier this month about the Silent Retreat I attended.

“My relationship to silence has been changed,” Elizabeth says. “Poetry to me comes from silence; I require silence to write. But the other thing is, silence has become a much bigger part of my poems in the last two years.”

Elizabeth Austen – Outgoing Washington Poet Laureate


You can hear more of Elizabeth’s thoughts about what she describes as a life-changing experience in this interview on KUOW.





*“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, maybe even bumper stickers.

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