#PoetryFriday: Early Spring

1- Belted kingfisher and tulips 2-7-2019

Belted Kingfisher and Tulips, WIP, © 2019 Michelle Kogan, Watercolor and watercolor pencil

Happy Poetry Friday! I have Spring on my mind, hence I’m focusing on Spring poems and Spring Art. To all my friends in colder climates, wouldn’t you love some of these tulips popping up in your yard or deck, (or your pond…) so come on let’s all think SPRING!

Laura Purdie Salas is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week on her blog: Laura Purdie Salas Writing The World For Kids  Thanks for hosting Laura! Laura has asked us to write an equation poem–she has a spank’n new book out that’s all about writing equations called SNOWMAN-COLD=PUDDLE Spring Equations, stop by and check it out, looks like an intriguing book!


Get some tulips–any kind
 the ones that are in your grocery store. 
    Pick a color that you like 
       Bring them home 
         Put them in a spot that gets light, 
           but not blinding light–

               Now look at them
                  Reeeally look at them
                      Study their contour edges
                        their deep rich colors as they 
                          come together between petal segments.

                                Admire their long stems that hold them up
                               their leaves that wrap around 
                              them like blankets.

                             If you have one’s exposing their bulbs
                            study them too. 
                           perhaps they’re wrapped in deep,
                          purplish, burnt sienna (reddish brown)
                        highlighted with a splash of orange    
                      perhaps they’ve shed their paper skin 
                    and are a lovely shade of jaune brilliant (cream color).

                And now for the crème de la crème
               Look at those luscious tendril roots 
             shooting off of their bulbs, all that growth
           stretching out into the atmosphere…

              When you go to sleep tonight, 
                   you might just dream about your tulips, or some tulips.          
                     Maybe these dreams will touch a 
                       wavelength with nature and, 
                      maybe it’ll bring us just a bit closer to spring.
                    Even if you don’t dream about them, 
                   think about all that goodness these tulips bring.

                   © 2019 Michelle Kogan


by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows’ wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,
Read the rest of the poem here

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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33 Responses to #PoetryFriday: Early Spring

  1. lindabaie says:

    I nearly always have fresh flowers in my home, and you’ve brought me to a closer look at tulips. I often choose sunflowers, bringing smiles every time I look. I do love the voice in your poem’s challenge, Michelle. Here, stop, look and look again! And Rilke is always a joy. I do love the idea, to me, in your painting, the tulips unfinished, waiting for spring? Lovely post.

  2. Stunning watercolor paired with lovely poems. Let’s hope the groundhog was right about that early Spring.

  3. Dear Michelle, your poem is like an art lesson! Thank you! And the art – yay for early spring and tulips and happy thoughts. Thank you! xo

  4. For someone who has never experienced 4 seasons, this poem just felt so Spring-y. The cadence, the colors and just the whole feel of the poem. Beautiful poem.
    And i love Rilke. Thanks for that treat at the end.

  5. jama says:

    Thank you for the early Spring delights. What a beautiful painting and poem!

  6. I can’t decide which I love more, your painting or your poem. They are both lovely. Thank you for a little taste of spring!

  7. Liz Steinglass says:

    I will follow your instructions! I love the feathers on the head of the kingfisher.

  8. mbhmaine says:

    Oh, yet another PF post that has me exclaiming aloud this week. This is a beauty, Michelle! Your art is stunning and that tulip poem is a wow! I actually wrote a quick noticing in my notebook this morning about tulips with the idea of turning it into a poem. Now I’m doubly motivated! That final Rilke poem is so soft and lovely. All these spring thoughts and images are a welcome balm on a day when the wind chill is currently 8˚.

  9. Oh, Michelle. What a winter you have had in your neck of the woods. I will not complain all winter! Love your floral shape poem. It reminds me that I need to bring some bulbs in for my Kindergarten scientists to explore in their observation notebooks. So many details to see! Be well and warm!

  10. margaretsmn says:

    My mother-in-law brought me tulips this week. Love your instructions for enjoying them. Will do.

  11. Lovely, and I JUST 2 minutes ago got off the phone with my dad, who lives in Florida. He has bought 18 small tulip plants From Walmart in the past two days. Tulips are my favorite flower, and they were my mom’s favorite too. Seeing your luscious art work in progress is very cool. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. I’m going to be dreaming of tulips for sure! I am ready for spring, too! I love the flow of your poem and your invitation to “Reeeally” study them!

  13. cvarsalona says:

    You have brightened my cold winter day, Michelle, with your artwork and poetry. Colors spring all over your post. “Maybe it’ll bring us just a bit closer to spring.” => Would love that!

  14. Tabatha says:

    I like that brown bulb in your painting especially!
    I bought a bouquet of chamomile to bring a little spring indoors and ended up feeding a bunch of it to its biggest fan — our bunny.

  15. I love how you idolize the bulb, not just the bloom. And the Rilke is lovely, “expression in the empty trees.” That is what my post on Thursday will be about. I just wrote it this morning.

  16. Jone says:

    The shape of you poem fascinates me. Did you write the poem first and the shape it or was the shape part of writing the poem? I love the painting too.

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