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A poet's gift to his Lake City neighborhood

The Poetry Pole is a favorite stop for neighbors looking for words of comfort.

SEATTLE — Words of comfort, wisdom, and hope. They're words-in-waiting at the base of a utility pole in North Seattle. These seeds of knowledge and grace have been planted by a man who knows the value of words.

"Words are like the clothes we wear. We wear them on our tongues," said Raúl Sánchez, an acclaimed and self-taught poet, teacher of the craft, and poet laureate of the City of Redmond.

Sánchez said, "A Spanish poet once said that poetry is the only proof of man’s existence. So I believe that to be true."

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Through his students, he’s seen how poetry can bring people together. So Sánchez placed a small cabinet, filled with his words and others’ printed on pages to go, at the base of the 'Poetry Pole.'

Neighbor Haideh Kaviani said, "Fresh air and poetry go so well together."

As interest grew, so did the collection of works.

"So I got a bigger box," Sánchez said.

Visitors are encouraged to find the words that speak to them.

"People can just take a poem and walk away," Sánchez said.

Some leave their own stories behind.

"I see them sometimes and say, 'Thank you!'“ he added.

When everything else in the world seems intent on tearing us apart, Raúl Sánchez’s Poetry Pole keeps bringing us back together.

Tangible proof of the power and beauty of words.

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