#Poetry Friday–Remembering #Kristallnacht


I had a different post planned for today, a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on for the Evanston Art Center’s forthcoming Winter Art EXPO Holiday Show that’s opening next week. But this morning I decided to jettison that and focus on the Anniversary of Kristallnacht. This year is the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht which was an attack on Jewish Humanity. On November 9th and 10th Nazi’s across Germany and Austria attacked Jewish Synagogues and business, “The windows of Jewish shops, businesses and homes were smashed as police stood by during the antisemitic rampage, giving it the name of Kristallnacht(night of broken glass).” (Merkel to address Kristallnacht ceremony at Berlin Synagogue, Harriet Sherwoood, and Louise Osborne, The Guardian, Nov 8, 2018.

I think it’s tantamount that we remember atrocious events in human history such as this, especially since there are so many atrocious events occurring today across our world–as happened so recently in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my Holiday post next week-and hoping and working toward some calm across our small planet. I’m thankful for the Blue Wave that washed across my fair prairie state of Illinois and spread out capturing the US House of Representatives.


Remembering today humanity–
Remembering today we all breathe–
Remembering today we all need water–
Remembering today we all need love–
Remembering today acts against humanity–
Remembering today Kristallnact and all
atrocious acts against humanity–

©2018 Michelle Kogan

by Nazim Hikmet



Living is no laughing matter:
	you must live with great seriousness
		like a squirrel, for example—
   I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
		I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
	you must take it seriously,
	so much so and to such a degree
   that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
                                            your back to the wall,
   or else in a laboratory
	in your white coat and safety glasses,
	you can die for people—
   even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
   even though you know living
	is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
   that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees—
   and not for your children, either,
   but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
   because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

Read the rest of this poem at Academy of American Poets


Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is hosting  this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog Today’s Little Ditty. I’m anxiously awaiting what she will unveil for us all on her rich site… Thanks for hosting Michelle!

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 Children's Illustration & Writing, Nature, Painting, pen sketch, Poem, Quick Sketches, Sketchbooks, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to #Poetry Friday–Remembering #Kristallnacht

  1. Thank you for this reminder!

  2. We mustn’t forget our mistakes, ever. Are we living if we cannot remember or learn?

  3. lindabaie says:

    I’ve been reading quite a few books about the Holocaust this past year, fiction and non, trying to understand how it happened, how people allowed it, mostly because of Trump’s election, and I enjoy learning about history. My father died in World War II, so I have a personal connection in this fight against such evil. Thank you for sharing this important anniversary, Michelle, and for your poem and “On Living”. Yes! “Remembering. . .”

  4. Sally Murphy says:

    Thank for your thoughtful post, Michelle. I love the line “living must be your whole occupation” and your rejoinder to remember. We must not live in the past but we must remember the lessons it has taught us.

  5. Such an important post, Michelle. I’m grateful that you switched gears and honored the memory of this atrocity. I’m also grateful that you have such a powerful voice and you know how to use it! I look forward to your holiday sampler next week. xo

  6. jama says:

    Painful though it may be, it is so important not to forget the atrocities of mankind. Thanks for the reminder, your beautiful art and the sobering poems. Live with intensity!

  7. Thanks for the reminder about the anniversary of Kristallnact. Eighty years- wow. Every year the eighth graders at my school do a powerful interactive Kristallnact from Facing History and Ourselves. Yes, important to remember!

  8. Thank you, Michelle. My favorite part of your poem is the mention of water… so basic, so essential… just like all of these other important things. xo

  9. Some thought-provoking poetry here, Michelle…and important, in this day and age. Thanks for sharing.

  10. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, congratulations on your contribution for the upcoming Winter Art Expo and Holiday Show. I will look forward to your posting of that. In the meantime, I commend your diligence to speaking out on atrocities and let us reflect on what we can do as citizens of life. Your poem is a sensitive piece allowing us to rethink our next steps.

  11. mbhmaine says:

    Thank you, Michelle, for consistently using your art and voice to speak up and to speak out. Remembering where we have been is critical piece in determining where we are going. Your poem speaks to that. Nazim Hikmet’s poem moved me deeply–the final stanza especially. Thank you so much for introducing me to this poem and this poet.

  12. Thank you so much for this important remembrance, Michelle. Thank you, too, for sharing “On Living.” Like Molly, I found the last stanza especially profound.

  13. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Thank you, Michelle, for the call to remember our shared humanity and to remember the times we have failed so as not to repeat.

  14. Adding to the thanks for this deeply felt post, Michelle. (And I intended to comment on Friday but somehow got waylaid – sorry about that.) You remind us to “breathe” and think and remember, and to keep reaching toward the light.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s