Poetry Friday—Poetry & More…

Spring Sprouts…© 2021 Michelle Kogan, Pen and Watercolor.

Happy Poetry Friday and Happy Women’s History Month!

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m sharing a golden shovel poem built from Margarita Engle’s prose piece, The Care and Feeding of Poetry, that’s featured in this months Poetry Foundation’s, Poetry Magazine. The March issue is devoted to Children’s poets and artists and is spectacular–hope you can read a copy!


Come pollinate poetry,
follow your heart’s passion like
milkweed petals replenishing peace
in pollinator’s hungry palate—self-value is
center—poetry “is personal.”

©2021 Michelle Kogan
Golden shovel striking line: Poetry, like peace, is personal. From Margarita Engle’s prose writing The Care and Feeding of Poetry, Poetry Magazine, March 2021, Volume 217, Number 6, the Poetry Foundation.

TULA [“books are door-shaped”]
By Margarita Engle

Books are door-shaped
carrying me
across oceans
and centuries,
helping me feel
less alone.

But my mother believes
that girls who read too much
are unladylike
and ugly,
so my father’s books are locked
in a clear glass cabinet. I gaze
at enticing covers
and mysterious titles,
but I am rarely permitted
to touch
the enchantment
of words.

All are forbidden.
Girls are not supposed to think,
but as soon as my eager mind
begins to race, free thoughts
rush in
to replace
the trapped ones.

Read the rest of the poem here.

I’m also sneaking in a couple holiday cards for Passover and Easter that are slowly creeping up on us… both cards have poems on the back and have found homes in my Etsy shop.

Cottontail and Eggs Easter Card, © 2020, Michelle Kogan, Watercolor.

one hushed bunny

two embracing branches,
burgeoning many new buds

three dainty eggs
welcoming spring’s
renewed enchantment…

© 2021 Michelle Kogan

Tulip Tango & Blue Flowers Passover Card, © 2020, Michelle Kogan, Pen & Watercolor.

stalworth greens open
spring’s tender tulips and
periwinkle blues…

© Michelle Kogan

Kat at her blog Kathryn Apel Children’s Author & Poet is hosting this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, and she’s calling it a Poetry Friday Muster—as that’s the “Australian term for the American cattle round-up.” Kat’s sharing her newly released book, The BIRD in the HERD,” so mosey on over and have a look!

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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14 Responses to Poetry Friday—Poetry & More…

  1. katswhiskers says:

    Oh, Michelle, there is just so much to love about this post – I cannot list it all! Indeed, ‘poetry is “personal”‘ and doubly so! Your shy little bunny is just adorable. I have never heard ‘stalworth’ until this post. And I do love tulips! Thank-you for sharing such a bounty with us.

  2. I am a Margarita Engle fan so you had me at her name! There’s always much to appreciate about her personal path in literature & her trailblazing today. I apprecaite your golden shovel from her words, the tip-off to this resource, a new-to-me-sprout [stalworth} & everything about the way you share art in multiple genres. Happy Spring! Jan/Bookseedstudio

  3. Sally Murphy says:

    Pollinate poetry indeed! Your posts are always so rich and varied, Michelle. Thank you yet again.

  4. janicescully says:

    I just got my Poetry Magazine and haven’t read it yet, and now will make sure I do. This post is a lovely tribute to the arts and to Engle. Thank you, Michelle. Your tulips are so unusual in blues, greens and pink.

  5. gailaldousmsncom says:

    Michelle, I love your poem! A great concept to “pollinate poetry.” This line especially speaks to me, “milkweed petals replenishing peace.” Your alliteration and consonance make it sound like a song. I love reading Margarita Engle’s books! Your cards are colorful and beautiful! Great images:
    “stalworth greens open
    spring’s tender tulips and
    periwinkle blues”
    Thank you for sharing all your treasures.

  6. bmagee10 says:

    Gorgeous post, Michelle! Engel’s line “Girls are not supposed to think” is infuriatingly persistent. Your ‘hushed bunny’ poem and card are exquisite. 🙂

  7. lindabaie says:

    Love your call “come pollinate poetry”, a spring wish for everyone, Michelle. It’s a lovely poem from Margarita’s line. Can you imagine all those girls/women who were forbidden books, to think, most because the thought was they were too fragile to take in all those ideas. Sadly, I guess it’s still happening in some places. As Margarita wrote, however, no one can stop the imagination! Thanks & have a wonderful weekend!

  8. maryleehahn says:

    I love your poem, but it’s your painting of the first sprouts that catches my heart. “Nothing gold can stay,” but we must must must bear witness to the miracles. Thank you!

  9. Linda Mitchell says:

    Lovely! Your first painting…spring is coming, isn’t it?! That painting holds so much hope in it. What a wonderful form the golden shovel is to be in conversation with another poet. Your back and forth thoughts with Margarita Engle and the alliteration make for a beautiful poem.

  10. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Beautiful post. I love your call to come pollinate poetry, and the poem from L’Engle is amazing. And those bunnies and eggs–how delightful.

  11. rosecappelli says:

    Your post welcomes spring in so many ways! Thanks for sharing your words and your lovely art.

  12. cvarsalona says:

    Let me start out with your opening, “Come pollinate poetry…” I can sense that spring is about to pop out at your Etsy site if not in real life. Your illustrations are vibrant and all the poems you share are just right to make me dream of poetry and springtime, Michelle. Loved seeing you online last night.

  13. Your posts are always so full of beauty, Michelle! I like your golden shovel, but your one two three Easter poem really enchanted me!

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