Poetry Friday–Poems form poems

3-Eucalypt copy



I’m sharing two beautiful poems I received last week from Tabatha Yeatts, for the Summer Poetry Sway. Tabatha shared with me May Sarton’s poem, The Work of Happiness. She then wrote Fellowship, an ekphrastic golden shovel using the painting I did above, and a line from The Work of Happiness. I’ve also included a response poem to Tabatha’s poem.

Here’s Tabatha’s poem, with her permission.

for Michelle

Sharing the sun and the
shadow and the scent in the air,
the wanderers rest. Is
the very light charged
with respite, with
peace, with blessing?
Painter, may we pause and
join them? What does
the Great Painter do every day, but bless?

© 2017 Tabatha Yeatts

Here is part of May Sarton’s poem, read the remainder of it at the Poetry Foundation.


By May Sarton
I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work

And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.


So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room;
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall—
These are the dear familiar gods of home,
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.
For my response poem I also wrote a golden shovel, however the first stanza uses the last line from Tabatha’s poem and the second stanza uses the last line from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Pollen. I couldn’t find Pollen online. It comes from a book I recently bought that’s called If Bees Are Few, A Hive of Bee Poems, Edited by James P. Lenfestey. I plan on sharing more of the book at some time.


The garden is the
answer with Great
possibilities. The Painter
ponders over what to do …

What holds her energy every
day, what centers her day?
She begins with a sketch, but
turns inward and continues with a bless-

ing for critters, and mankind, and help
for all humanity. Join us
together so we may find
peace and happiness, within the
world; within mountains, the valley, the field–
Unite our small world once again.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan


Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup; thanks Linda! Stop by Linda’s blog for more poems.

About Michelle Kogan Art, Illustration, & Writing

Michelle Kogan is an artist, illustrator, instructor, and writer, creating colorful allegorical figure, flora and fauna paintings and children's illustrations, which have a sensitivity to endangered species, and the environment. She is an art instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center and offers Plein Air Painting Workshops at nature venues in the Chicago area including the Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and Lurie Gardens at Millennium Park. Visit her online Etsy Shop at: http://www.MichelleKoganFineArt.etsy.com and her website: http://www.michellekogan.com
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29 Responses to Poetry Friday–Poems form poems

  1. lindabaie says:

    Wow, all the wonder of nature that celebrates the artistry there, and where many artists seem to thrive, Michelle. Beautiful poems sparked from your own art!

  2. Beautiful conversation about nature and happiness here. I love that term, the Great Painter, and both uses of it. The painting at the beginning is also lovely, Michelle. Are those ginkgo leaves?

  3. Tabatha says:

    Excited that you wrote a response poem, and that you used a line from mine for you! How cool is that?? Great possibilities, and a world united. Lovely.

  4. It’s an entire poetic conversation here…..simply lovely….the Great Painter….the blessings.

  5. What a gorgeous meditation on fellowship, happiness, and love. Your last line is perfect:” Unite our small world once again.” Thank you for sharing, Michelle.

  6. carwilc says:

    I love Linda’s comment about a “poetic conversation.” That’s really what this is! These poems make me want to be quiet and just sit and listen to my heart. And I’m amazed that you can create such beauty both with paints and with words! Wow!

  7. maryleehahn says:

    My appreciation, too, for the “poetic conversation.” I couldn’t have said it better. Go forth and make art! Unite us! Bless us!

  8. One poem leads to another and another…and all tied together by artistry and nature–Beautiful!

  9. haitiruth says:

    So lovely! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  10. Violet N. says:

    Michelle, my response to all these inspiring works is “YES!” and then go and capture some wonderful lines:

    “What does
    the Great Painter do every day, but bless?”
    ” the tree is lifted by this inward work
    And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.”
    “The growing tree is green and musical.”

    I’m also fascinated by your painting. An altogether lovely post!

  11. Donna Smith says:

    Please humor me with a “found” poem within the three – yours, Tabatha’s and May Sarton’s – it was all I could do to contain myself, and could not restrain myself!

    Small World

    air moves quietly
leaves are glittering

    green and musical

    within the garden
    for critters and mankind

    sharing the sun;
here the work of faith

    strikes its roots deep

    by Donna JT Smith

  12. macrush53 says:

    I love, love, love the poetry swap. We inspire and draw inspiration from one another. Beautiful poems.

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