wash your thoughts in spring’s
greens, while remembering we
are one of many…
© 2020 Michelle Kogan
Happy Poetry Friday!
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum had an interesting post on lichens and leaves and they talked about the naturalist Elizabeth Emerson Atwater, 1812-1878. While she hails from NYC she spent a good amount of time in my fair city, Chicago, and bequeathed a beautiful rubbed leaf album to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Their post features a few of the leaves that she captured in this album. Her intentions where to become a botanist but due to the times she lived in this didn’t happen, though she did give us this beautiful record of many plants. Here’s an interesting article about Elizabeth Emerson Atwater. I’ve played with leaves in my own art, and decided to collect a few leaves to do some rubbings with too. For the art above I used a piece of rice paper and a #3b drawing pencil (this is a softer pencil). I tried using both the front and back of the leaves. I also added in a bit of my own line, and then laid in some watercolor for the background. I thought this might be fun for students to try or anyone for that matter… I also tried this on a regular piece of copy paper, in case that’s all that’s available for someone else. I also noted the leaves that I used when I knew what they were. You could also try writing a poem from the art you create.
I’ve been reading and enjoying our Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo’s poetry book, An American Sunrise. There’s an immense amount of material on her over at the Academy of American Poets, and she’ll also be sharing a poem a day next month for National Poetry month. Here’s one of her poems from this collection:
“Advice For Countries, Advanced, Developing and Falling”
by Joy Harjo
A country is a person.
A country is a noun, to be bought and sold. I have a deed.
The ruler’s disposition and rules determine the state of being for all constituents.
Each state governs itself without respect for individuals. It’s everyone for themselves.
Power is dangerous when wielded in the hands of one. It is meant to be shared.
I was given this position by cunning, by money, by sex, by family, by God. It belongs to me and no one else.
Read the rest of the poem here.
Last night I wrote a prayer poem with all that’s going on in our unsettling world, that I’ll leave you with it,
Dear God or power that be
Gather all your children,
Have our hearts beat as one,
Have our acts think for all,
Help us navigate wisely, humanely, and for all lives.
© 2020 Michelle Kogan
Be safe, be well, xo.
My friend, esteemed poet, and always resource-filled person Tabatha Yeatts is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog, Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference–thanks for hosting Tabatha! She’s reflecting on our times and offering a poem called ACCEPTANCE. Be sure to stop by for her post and many more.
Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.