Poetry Friday–GIVING THANKS for Poetry and Music


Happy Thanks Giving!

I’ve been reading this book, Giving Thanks, POEMS, PRAYERS, AND PRAISE SONGS OF THANKSGIVING. edited and reflected by Katherine Paterson and Illustrated by Pamela Dalton. I came across it while on my weekly visit to the library. It has an eclectic mix of poems and thankful thoughts ranging from Chinese Proverbs, Islamic Prayers, Pueblo Blessings, Shaker Songs, to well known poets such as William Blake. Seemed like a perfect book to share at this time of year. So–for Poetry Friday I created a golden shovel poem from a line of William Blake’s “AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE.” Four lines from Blake’s poem are shared in GIVING THANKS.


BY William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour
To read the rest of the poem visit the Poetry Foundation.



The world began and
your words where born like a
fireball emerging from heaven.
Each new thought in
turn, a small prayer, a
thankful meditation, from great wild
wonders to a simple, abashed wall flower.

©2017 Michelle Kogan

Also included in  GIVING THANKS is SIMPLE GIFTS, a Shaker song by Elder Joseph Brackettand, and here it is for you to enjoy with Aaron Copland.


Carol is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Carol’s Corner, stop by for more poetry. Thanks for hosting Carol!

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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22 Responses to Poetry Friday–GIVING THANKS for Poetry and Music

  1. Irene Latham says:

    Michelle, congratulations on your Golden Shovel! I own this Paterson book and return to it throughout the year. Lots of beautiful words and important reminders. Thank you for sharing, and Happy Poetry Friday! xo

  2. Sweet delights. Looks like a great book. I’ve read that feeling gratitude makes a person happy. I try to do it more.

  3. maryleehahn says:

    How perfect to pair Copeland with Blake for your thanks-giving inspiration — simple things and small things like grains of sand.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    A great line for creating a golden shovel. “Each new thought, a turn, a small prayer.” That’s what poems are.

  5. What a lovely golden shovel tribute, Michelle–thanks for sharing it.

  6. lindabaie says:

    Beautifully written, Michelle. I own this book and have given it to others too. It is one to treasure. “Simple gifts” is anohter favorite. Your post creates a wonderful thank you for the things we must honor all the year, like “from great wild/wonders to a simple, abashed wall flower”.

  7. That is such a beautiful golden shovel….just lovely. What a delightful consequence from the meditations of giving thanks.

    • Thanks Linda, I’ll go for any kind of meditation! I have a fond memory of Willam Blake–A long time ago when I worked as a graphic designer at the University of Chicago, while doing research I was able to view a few original William Blake’s in their special collections–a very special moment for me!

  8. A beautiful poem, paired with a divine picture, and then the added bonus of the music. Thank you for such a lovely post.

  9. katswhiskers says:

    There’s just something sophisticated that comes from a golden shovel. I love what they bring out in a poet. Nice one, Michelle. And beautiful artwork, too.

  10. I do love your paintings–the ones done with paints and the ones with words. The Golden Shovel form interests me too. Yours is a perfect meditation for thanksgiving.

  11. I like your golden shovel poem. I find them hard to write, but I love how they bring out connections between new and old. Thank you, too, for sharing this book. It looks good, and I look forward to reading it.

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