Poetry Friday Spring & Children’s Book Week


Happy Poetry Friday! Wow, what a busy month we had in April with oodles of poetry reaching up out of the ground along with our rugged plants, despite our chilly temps. The forever inching of my perennial spring garden kept me going. So many wonders this last month …

To mention a few I tried keeping up with … A seed was born, captured a name, and finally bloomed as Poet’s Jasmine on the Progressive Poem–Begun by Irene Latham and now resting on her site Live Your Poem,   Irene was blogging daily on ARTSPEAK! sharing artists from the Harlem Renaissance and writing daily poems from their Art. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes on her blog Today’s Little Ditty, filled us with a month of Dinoriffic  poems inspired by DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR a new picture book by authors Matt Forrest Esenwine, and Deborah Bruss, and illustrated by Louie Chin. 
Renée LaTulippe took my breath away with her stellar posts each day featuring a new author or poet throughout the month, along with a writing poem prompt opportunity at her blog No Water River. I also dipped in periodically on Linda Baie’s daily haiku journal on her blog Teacher Dance; Margaret Simon’s daily ekphrastic poem’s, many inspired by her father’s gorgeous art on her blog Reflections on the Teche; Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids, as she wrote daily haikus on posit notes; Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm wrote daily poems in a different poetic form each day on the Orion constellation; Mary Lee Hahn penned 30 Golden Shovel poems on either quotes her 30 students selected, or attributes of her students a.k.a. The Hahn Squad at her blog A Year of Reading; Diane Mayr wrote daily ekphrastic cherita poems at her blog, Random Noodling; Heidi Mordhorst, on her blog My Juicy Little Universe, took her students–penned as the Diamond Miners–on a take off of the Progressive Poem called 2 BY 2 IN 2ND. Each student added 2 words of their own each day, and they each did this twice over the month creating one poem! Jama at her blog Jama’s Alphabet Soup held us all together offering a Roundup for many of the poetry offerings throughout the month! Ah … And there was more, but alas I had to work a lot, sleep a little, write a little, and draw a little. Thank you all for this fantastically rich month!

For Today I’m sharing a golden shovel poem I wrote taken from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day.”


Breathe in spring with
new senses. Become aware of your
yearnings and desires, especially one
that awakens life’s wild
possibilities within you, and
appreciation for your precious
inner calling in life!

© 2018 Michelle Kogan

Here’s Mary Oliver Reading her poem The Summer Day

.cbw-logo  I heard through the grapevine that it’s Children’s Book Week, April 30th –May 6th. In honor of this event I’m sharing two books. the first is The Death of The Hat, A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, a poetry anthology selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. BTW Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” is included in this collection. The poems begin in the Middle Ages and travel through to contemporary times focusing mostly on 5o different objects, though nature seems to be included in there too, as so many of us poets seem to be smitten with the natural world! It’s a book I had out of the library so many times, I eventually purchased my own copy.


The second book is That is My Dream by Langston Hughes and Daniel Miyares–who also did the illustrations. It evolved from Langston Hughes’ poem “Dream Variation.” In the story we are taken on a days journey of a family that struggles daily with inequality while another family breaths in hope. I found it particularly poignant for the times we are living in. While the message is strong the book is filled with airy uplifting illustrations leaving us with hope! I picked up this book on my weekly trip to the library, but I have a feeling it will also end up in my own collection.


My friend Brenda Davis Harsham at  Friendly Fairy Tales is hosting Poetry Friday this week, thanks Brenda! I’m sure she’ll have some poetic pleasures and visual treats awaiting us, so drop by her blog!


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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Poetry Friday Spring & Children’s Book Week

  1. Happy to link up with you. Wonderful art and love the golden shovel.

  2. katswhiskers says:

    Wow. So much happening during April!! I’m surprised you had time for LIFE (and art and writing!) amidst all those blog visits. But you did! Loving your fresh, buzzy spring artwork – and your golden shovel uses the form to perfection. Beautifully done, Michelle. (Those two books are both so visually enticing – even before you add your accolades.)

  3. Phew – what a month!! A wonderful flurry of a month!

  4. lindabaie says:

    There was so, so much to love during April, I agree, including all that you painted and wrote, Michelle. It’s lovely to wrap your words within this wonderful line of Mary Oliver’s, hurrah for spring! And I love Death of A Hat, will note the 2nd one! Thanks for including me in your gathering!

  5. jama says:

    First, beautiful watercolor today, Michelle — and nice job on the golden shovel poem. 🙂

    Thanks for spotlighting these two books. I’d heard of the first one (anxious to see it), but not the second (looks good too!). Can’t believe April is over — it was indeed a rich, inspiration-filled month.

  6. mbhmaine says:

    Spring+Mary Oliver+your golden shovel=treasure! Thanks for sharing your painting, your poem and also the book recommendations.

  7. Such a generous post, Michelle – thank you for all! Nice golden shovel, and I’m a fan of the Janeczko/Raschka books too. Happy May!

  8. janicescully says:

    I’m glad I landed on your post. Your poem Springtime Renewal, about finding the possibilities within, inspired me, as does this season.Thanks!

  9. Alice Nine says:

    Love your golden shovel. Thanks for sharing the “many wonders this last month.” I tried to keep up with many of them also, making April such a rich month. I’m bookmarking your post as an index of sorts.

  10. maryleehahn says:

    Poetry month went by in a blur, didn’t it?!?

  11. cvarsalona says:

    I just commented on Facebook. Your poem is beautiful, my friend. Please wrap it up for my Spring Gallery. It is just what we all need-a breath of springtime freshness and color. I also enjoyed your summary of National Poetry Month.

  12. haitiruth says:

    Whew! What a busy month it was! Thanks for your post, and especially your golden shovel. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  13. Myra GB says:

    I love a Janeczko and Raschka pairing – I think I’ve booktalked two of their poetry collab to teachers sooo many times. Glad to see there’s another one here that I have yet to get my hands on! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s