Poetry Friday–John Lewis

Rose for John Lewis 7-23-20

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m remembering John Lewis in a double etheree poem–Let’s keep his life’s actions alive.

First action–for all of us in the US, make sure you’re registered to vote, better yet, send for your Vote-By-Mail ballot for our November 2020 Election.


Third of ten
children, son of
sharecroppers, who fought
nonviolently for
desegregation and lead
’60s first civil rights sit-ins.
Organized bus boycotts, and protests
for “voter and racial equality.”
’65, organized Selma March to
Montgomery, for voting rights.
He felt change would occur when
engaged in “good trouble.”
Move nonviolence 
Forward–Move his
“good trouble”

© 2020 Michelle Kogan

New Documentary film on John Lewis with trailer:

There’s a bevy of articles out on John Lewis, here’s one I found interesting by Nicole Austin-Hillery: John Lewis’ answer to my question guides me to this day.

Margaret Simon at her blog Reflections on the Teche, is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday roundup, thanks Margaret! Margaret asks us, What is poetry,” which was the focus of an online Poetry Foundation Teacher’s Institute she attended last week at the Poetry Foundation. Stop by for your fill of poetry and more…

Visit Renée LaTulippe’s site No Water River to find out more about what Poetry Friday is.


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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13 Responses to Poetry Friday–John Lewis


    I love your double etheree! What a giant of good trouble we have lost. I feel increased obligation and responsibility to do as he did, care as he did, speak as he did. Thank you for honoring this great man, Michelle.

  2. margaretsmn says:

    What a wonderful poem to honor John Lewis! I dug into his legacy a bit this week as well. So much good work. Do you have the picture book “Preaching to the Chickens”?

  3. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks for your double etheree tribute to John Lewis. Your ending three lines are a great call to action and a way to honor this American hero.

  4. Linda KulpTrout says:

    Thank you for your lovely tribute to a true hero.

  5. Fran Haley says:

    I love an etheree – and this double one works beautifully in your tribute to Lewis. Michelle. That final word, “now!” conjures the quote “If not us who? If not now, when?” As always, your artwork stirs the spirit … and redemption is one of my favorite themes.

  6. Tabatha says:

    John Lewis was so warm, as well as so strong and determined, that he felt like a family member. Thanks for commemorating him and for encouraging us to vote.

  7. Thank you for honoring John Lewis, Michelle! I love how you’ve taken the “good trouble” and run with it. Beautiful! xo

  8. janicescully says:

    Just wonderful, Michelle! What an inspiring man and you have captured it. To celebrate him, I think the form is a good one. I love that he talked about disobedience as “good trouble.”

  9. maryleehahn says:

    Brilliant. I’ve never tried a double etheree. You made it work perfectly. What a man, what a life, what an inspiration!

  10. cvarsalona says:

    Great job praising John Lewis poetically, Michelle. When I traveled to Atlanta for NCTE one year, I took the Civil Rights Tour led by a man who was MLK’s driver. He brought the times of the era to life and spoke highly of the marchers and organizers. Great thought:
    Move his
    “good trouble”

  11. What an amazing man and voice we’ve lost. Thanks for sharing his words and life. This makes me think of two middle grade novels I recently enjoyed: Strange Birds and A Good Kind of Trouble. :>)

  12. laurashovan222 says:

    Wonderful tribute, Michelle. I hope our country is moving forward, as you say in your poem.

  13. Hello dear Michelle. I so much appreciate your poem, “John Lewis.” I think he does, too. Reading about him & now staying with the news on the many memorials this weekend & upcoming this week, awes me in review of his his 80-year life of dignity & “good trouble.”

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