Poetry Friday–Inaugural Poems 2021

Mourning Dove, Rufous Hummingbird, Bee, and Narcissus, © 2020 Michelle Kogan, watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m moving forward slowly with hope, for our country, America, and our world. I was smitten with our Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, THE HILL WE CLIMB. My post today includes a golden shovel poem taken from a line of Amanda’s poem, and the rest focuses on this fabulous wordsmith poet.


America though your voice grew grim, and
democracy defamed, your flame burned within. So
different minds joined together and put we
first––For we American’s together must work to lift
away from false truths, to regain our
trampled on Democracy, to refocus our gazes
on compassion, love and care for each other, not
on a single focus but on an inclusive we, to
embrace again, justice for every race, religion, and gender. What
follows, to mend with dove’s-wings our injured America, as she stands
bruised, but ready to reach all and bring about change between
different minds of America with inclusiveness for all of us

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

My golden shovel poem borrows a line from our Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural poem, THE HILL WE CLIMB:

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us

You can read Amanda Gorman’s poem here. And here’s an article from The New York Times, about Amanda Gorman writing her inaugural poem:
Amanda Gorman Captures the Moment, in Verse

Amanda Gorman reading her poem FURY AND FAITH, and a TEDEd talk.

Laura Shovan at her blog Laura Shovan is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Laura! She’s sharing more on our renowned Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and in addition announcing her 9th annual February Poetry Project. Be sure to drop by her blog.

As a sidenote I have a couple of new Valentine’s Day Cards available in my Etsy Shop, waiting to spread some sweetness wherever they may be sent…

New Valentine’s Day Cards with small valentine ditties on the back, available in my online Etsy Shop.

Visit Renée LaTulippe at 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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19 Responses to Poetry Friday–Inaugural Poems 2021

  1. Kathy Mazurowski says:

    I agree with you Michelle, huge fan of Amanda Gorman and her poem. Lovely inspiring Golden Shovel.

  2. Sally Murphy says:

    A lovely poetic tribute to Amanda’s poem. I am so relieved for your country that change is here.

  3. Mitchell Linda says:

    What a wonderful conversation with Ms. Gorman….taking her words as seeds for a new poem that reinforces similar ideas. I so enjoy seeing the ripples of poetry. The ripples here are beautiful! “love and care for each other.” Yes. Your valentine is precious! I love the tiny letters in the painting. Beautiful!

  4. margaretsmn says:

    My student Chloe noticed the repetition of the word we throughout Amanda’s poem. Your golden shovel grabs hold of that we and gives it wings. The collective and inclusive we. Thanks for sharing your poem and the videos of Amanda. I have not tired of her yet. She’s such a refreshing and inspiring voice for our nation, for the we of educators.

  5. lindabaie says:

    Amanda Gorman was like the biggest exclamation point President Biden’s inauguration could have, and many here on PF are writing from her words, so, so wonderful that WE are doing that. I think I heard a collective sigh on Wednesday, like your wonderful poem, Michelle, “put we
    first”. Love the art as always!

  6. bmagee10 says:

    We all seem to be ‘digging’ Amanda Gorman and her words today, Michelle! Great minds inspired by a brilliant young woman. I love your line: “to mend with dove’s-wings our injured America” – YES! 🙂

  7. janicescully says:

    I love: ” refocus our gazes
    on compassion, love and care for each other, not
    on a single focus but on an inclusive we”
    There is no more important mission for us in America. Lovely golden shovel, Michelle!

  8. jama says:

    Wonderful golden shovel, Michelle (and I love your gorgeous painting)! Amanda Gorman certainly wowed everyone. Exciting to see that much enthusiasm for a young poet. It will be so good to have an administration that embraces the arts once again. 🙂

  9. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I am enjoying all the celebration of Amanda Gorman today! Your golden shovel poem takes her words and adds layers to them.

  10. laurashovan222 says:

    “America though your voice grew grim” — strong opening line for a strong poem, Michelle. Together, the Poetry Friday community has collected some wonderful links and resources about Amanda Gorman today. Thanks for joining the link-up!

  11. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    As I make my way through posts today, I don’t think I’ve come upon one yet that hasn’t mentioned Amanda Gorman. It seems we’re all smitten… and for good reason! What a powerhouse she is. What a powerhouse your golden shovel is, too! Thanks so much for including the other videos in your post as well. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better explanation of how poetry is, by nature, political. I will be bookmarking that Ted talk for sure. Also love those new cards, Michelle!

  12. cvarsalona says:

    Amanda’s poem offered many avenues for writing. Your golden shovel offers us new thoughts on unity and change. What
    follows, to mend with dove’s-wings our injured America, as she stands
    bruised, but ready to reach all and bring about change between
    different minds of America with inclusiveness for all of us
    Your artwork supports the beauty of your post. Thank you for the links, Michelle.

  13. mbhmaine says:

    I just came from reading Linda Mitchell’s powerful golden shovel to reading yours. Wow! I’m now inspired to revisit that form. I love that your strike line comes from Amanda Gorman’s work. I especially like the emphasis on “we” and unity and healing that resonates throughout your poem. Thanks for including the links as well.

  14. Fabulous golden shovel, Michelle! “…ready to reach all and bring about change,” indeed. Miss Gorman has left us with so many wonderful lines to choose from. I’m entering all of them into my notebook ready to inspire.

  15. haitiruth says:

    Wasn’t she amazing? I like what you’ve done with her line. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  16. maryleehahn says:

    I love your focus on WE and US. Yes.

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