Poetry Friday–Rising up & Art

1a-Rose-Red-Reality-painting-m-kogan-11-10-2017- copy

Rose Red Reality, © 2017 Michelle Kogan, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

From Maya Angelou STILL I RISE

Always Strive higher, But
hold onto your dignity. Still–
Always speak your thoughts, like
they’re yours alone, precious as Air.
Always remember your roots, where I’ll
help you draw from within, and forever we’ll Rise.

© 2017 Michelle Kogan


By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Read the rest of her poem at the Poem Hunter

Happy Poetry Friday! I’m sharing a montage of poems and art this week. The above reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and our times. My poem, Forever We”ll Rise is a golden shovel taken from Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise. My painting, which I thought fit in with these poems,  is  featured in the Evanston Art Center’s Faculty Exhibit which runs through February 11, 2018. Though,  I started my week with a poem about the weather. It had warmed up a bit, but dreary January had captured me, momentarily. 



Oh woe, January–
Though the holiday lights still shine,
the snow’s sidestepped, and the cold snaps
on mid-week winter vacation–Ah, yet you’ve
entrapped me, in your foreboding foggy, clouded
night sky, filling me with want of spring still so far, far
afield. But, music gently rescued my desires, embraced
my emotions, and momentarily pulled me from
my stupor; I pushed my pen across my page,
and perhaps tomorrow will lift my brush
until light again climbs into the night
and rocks me till the morning dawn.

© 2018 Michelle Kogan


Jan Godown Annino at BookSeedStudio is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup with more on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., thanks Jan for hosting!

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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32 Responses to Poetry Friday–Rising up & Art

  1. Angelou’s words are so powerful, so inspiring, so blazingly real. They move me every time I read them, as if for the first time.

  2. Keri Collins Lewis says:

    Your poem is a wonderful tribute to Angelou’s and fits perfectly with Jan’s post too! I love serendipity! (And I’m glad the winter blues didn’t keep you down for long!)

  3. Laura Shovan says:

    I love these lines, Michelle: Always speak your thoughts, like
    they’re yours alone, precious as Air.

  4. So much awesomeness in this post. The line in your last poem: “and perhaps tomorrow will lift my brush” is my favourite. I like the idea that it is the day that’s responsible and that tomorrow holds promise.

  5. Wonderful post, Michelle! Lately, I have really been enjoying responding to a poem with a poem. I see you’ve done that here. I love the line “always strive higher”. What a tribute to Ms. Angelou and to her ideals.
    And, yes please….January can just move along a little bit faster for me too. I’d like some light pouring into my night.

  6. Thank you for sharing Angelou’s poem. Her words bring such healing balm–especially after the damage caused by words spoken and reported yesterday. And your poem adds another layer of richness to the conversation. I have hope that we will rise above the present political discourse.

  7. Powerful, thoughtful words from both of you…thanks for getting us all to think a little bit more about ourselves, Michelle. I do hope you’ll be able to “lift your brush” tomorrow!

  8. Myra GB says:

    Maya Angelou has always been my go-to poet, and these two are my absolute favourite too. Thank you for sharing – very timely. 🙂

  9. Violet N. says:

    Nice Golden Shovel, and the painting is so appropriate. I love the image from your poem of music pulling you from your winter stupor! May all our winters be full of music!

  10. mbhmaine says:

    What a plethora of riches you’ve shared today. Maya Angelou’s poem is so intense and your Golden Shovel is great. I especially like the line “Always speak your thoughts, like
    they’re yours alone, precious as Air.” Your January poem captures the woes of winter but ends with such a welcome note of optimism–your own light! And that painting–Wow!

  11. maryleehahn says:

    Maya Angelou is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing her powerful poem. Love your golden shovel response.

  12. lindabaie says:

    Maya Angelou keeps us going, doesn’t she? Your poems linking to her show that inspiration, too, Michelle. I am waiting “until light again climbs into the night”.

  13. margaretsmn says:

    Your painting is gorgeous. I’ve been thinking a lot about Maya lately and what she would have to say about our current situation. She’s still with us in her strong words of empowerment.

  14. Maya Angelou is a hero of mine. I rise when I read her. Your golden shovel is lovely.

  15. Brava on the golden shovel, Michelle – it’s so very timely. Thank you for sharing. And congrats on your painting’s inclusion in the show! Happy creating this new year.

  16. This connection with Maya Angelou is a wonderful golden shovel, Michelle. And kudos on your lovely watercolor being in the Evanston art show. Your 2018 is rising well!

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