Poetry Friday Potpourri: Hanukkah & Winter Poetry Swap


lights of eight sage
branches stretch and reach
skyward for freedom!

©2017 Michelle Kogan

Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Hanukkah!

Last week on Saturday I recieved my winter poetry swap package in the mail. It couldn’t have come at a better time, I just had some dental surgery the day before and the package put such a warm feeling inside me, Many thanks Margaret!

So For Poetry Friday I’m mixing things up a bit–sharing a little from one of my favorite Jewish holidays, Hanukkah–the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AND FREEDOM– along with Margaret’s poem and gifts. 

I did a little researching and found this wonderful site about the origin of a sage menorah, which the first menorah may have been taken from. I have my interpretation of it featured here. The ends are formed with almond cups. Here’s a link for the site that describes this original menorah and it’s origin in detail:

Margaret sent me a bevy of delectable items. Here’s her original Shadorma poem (a form of haiku with a syllable count of: 3,5,3,3,7,5.and photo that inspired it:


Winter bare
hollows space for view
budding waits
lichen lays
opening a patterned path
lacing morning’s dew

–Margaret Simon December, 2017 ©

Here are the additional treasures Margaret shared with me. They are from Robyn Hood Black’s etsy shop, www.artsyletters.com A two-sided ornament with words taken from Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher, Dec. 26, 1896.


I was taken with Margaret’s Shadorma poem, and I penned a couple–but I think this is enough so I’ll share them in another post. 

Thanks for the lovely gifts and the light you’ve shined on me from your poem and all here Margaret! BTW the box that all came in had tape on it that read: HELP SAVE THE BEES–perfect!

Now zip on over to Diane Mayr’s blog, Random Noodling she’s hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup. Thanks Diane! Diane has focused on St. Thérèse’ this week. 

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 Potpourri: Hanukkah & Winter Poetry Swap

  1. bjleepoet says:

    That’s the most beautiful menorah I’ve ever seen, Michelle! Love your poem and Margaret’s as well. Is this a new form, the shadorma? It’s a lovely form!

  2. lindabaie says:

    I loved reading about that original menorah, Michelle and your painting is beautiful, fits in well with all of Margaret’s wonderful gifts too. Robyn’s art is always special.

  3. katswhiskers says:

    Oh, I love that found poem in the pendant. Adore! (And an Australian stamp, I spy. Are they the reverse of the same pendant?) I too had some artsyletters in my Poetry Friday package – including the travelling geese card, which is just perfect! So many treasures on your blog…

  4. Diane Mayr says:

    I’d never heard of the sage menorah. I love the whole elemental feeling of it and how beautifully you recreated it. Thanks for the link, too! (I also have to look into the Shadorma–so much research, so little time…)

  5. What an adorable post. I love the sage menorah, and the ornaments from Margaret and Robyn. Such a good idea to add some poetry to the tree. I’ll have to think on it. 🙂

  6. Tabatha says:

    Sage and almonds! Cool! Enjoyed seeing your menorah and your goodies, Michelle. I can imagine you painting a “patterned path” in dew.

  7. jama says:

    Wow, LOVE your sage menorah, Michelle. Enjoyed seeing all the treasures you received from Margaret. The shadorma is new to me and it was wonderful reading a sample of it.

  8. margaretsmn says:

    I love your menorah painting along with the poem and info. Thanks for featuring my poetry gift today. It was fun to put this together for you. (I, too, had dental work recently. What a pain!) . Hope your holidays are full of warmth and comfort and joy.

  9. Love that sage menorah. Light the lights! Best wishes, Christie

  10. There is so much to love in this post–from the perfect timing of Margaret’s package and its poetic contents (lovely photo and poem and gifts) to your sage menorah painting and poem. Hope you are feeling much better!

  11. I did not know about the sage/menorah connection–interesting! And what beautiful gifts Margaret gave you–complete with budding branches to match your sage menorah.

  12. mbhmaine says:

    These winter poetry swap shares are such fun. The creativity is most impressive! I love Margaret’s photo and her Shadorma–a name that’s fun to say and one that I’m now inspired to explore. Love your painting as well!

  13. maryleehahn says:

    Fascinating that the original menorah links back to the flowering sage plant! Thanks for the history tidbit, the beautiful poem, and a peek at your poem swap gifts!

  14. macrush53 says:

    Love your menorah! It’s beautiful. And the Shadorma Margaret wrote in stunning. Plus items from Robyn’s shop? How perfect is that?

  15. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, I am so late to the Poetry Friday Roundup but I had to stop by and see what everyone was doing during this holiday time. I see you have been busy with your illustration and writing. How wonderful. Sage is one of my favorite herbs. The smell is intoxicating and used as a cleansing of the soul item that I experienced while at three morning rituals led by a truly contemplative Navajo spiritualist at peace with nature. Margaret’s gifts to you are memorable. Looking forward to yoru shadorma poetry.

  16. Beautiful! The sage menorah is fascinating. I hadn’t heard of that before. So, thank you for the description. I so enjoy seeing your creations. And, treats from Margaret are very special. Lucky you! Enjoy the season.

  17. What a beautiful illustration. And how intriguing about the sage and almond cups. It must smell lovely! Thanks for the poems, too. An all-around wonderful post!

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