The following is a guest blog by Juan Felipe Herrera, the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress.

Nohemi Gonzalez is seen in a photo posted to Facebook by Strate-Ecole de Design.

Sometimes all we have is the little song in our heart—the one responsible for lighting the way in times of trouble. The size of the trouble does not matter because the size of the little song is always larger than the size of the trouble—or tragedy. This little song we can call the poem—the tiny, brave crucible that carries our love into the universe. Here is my little song for what happened to one of our own, Nohemi Gonzalez from California State University in Long Beach, California, and to all that were killed and hurt in Paris, France—and—to all of those in the world suffering from these waves of terror. I invite you to write a little song from your hearts too. Your poem will make a difference that can cover the world. This little song from your heart will be an incredible first step.


Nohemi—a Song for Paris


Mimi—can I call you that

this is a song for you—


with candles we stand & we kneel

this is how it is now we

well all of us we

send you these flowers across time

this time here which we

cannot explain


all love goes to you

& your friends the other night

so many with you gone we

stand we play Lennon’s piano

Imagine—we say

a world without violence—

we want to imagine that in your name

Nohemi Gonzalez from El Monte

from Whittier California from

Cal State Long Beach—


we run out of words


the words

so many words your mamá

Beatríz your cousin Jacqueline

we know them now—for you


we write them a poem too

I do not know how we will do that

we are doing that—that is all

like the designs you made—for a high-spirited world

you said you were high-spirited, self-driven—yes

like the dreams you had

& the words First Generation

the ones you used to

describe              your life


we continue with you—somehow

it is not important to know how

it is important to continue that is all

I must—say it again


we are all writing a poem

for you for your cousin Jacqueline

for your mamá Beatríz—she loved you

their love will make it alright

all of our love will make it alright          yes


here is your song Mimi—


We light Nohemi a candle

the candle waves across the stars

close they are so close because

Nohemi & Paris are in our hearts



Nohemi &

Paris—are in


our hearts