Poetry Friday–July 4th

Happy Poetry Friday!
And Happy 4th of July!

Here’s a short diamante poem to contemplate on and celebrate the Fourth of July…
I thought of a diamante because of it’s diamond shape which reminds me of stars and fireworks, crackling in the sky.

FOURTH OF JULY
Independence
Exciting unnerving
Reverberating contemplating rebuilding
Compensation forethought renewal gratification
Protesting changing enacting
Exhausting exhilarating
Freedom!
© 2021 
M. Kogan

And a poem about America by Amanda Gorman.

IN THIS PLACE (AN AMERICAN LYRIC)
by Amanda Gorman

There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
where America writes a lyric
you must whisper to say.

There’s a poem in this place—
in the heavy grace,
the lined face of this noble building,
collections burned and reborn twice.

There’s a poem in Boston’s Copley Square
where protest chants
tear through the air
like sheets of rain,
where love of the many
swallows hatred of the few.

There’s a poem in Charlottesville
where tiki torches string a ring of flame
tight round the wrist of night
where men so white they gleam blue—
seem like statues
where men heap that long wax burning
ever higher
where Heather Heyer
blooms forever in a meadow of resistance.

There’s a poem in the great sleeping giant
of Lake Michigan, defiantly raising
its big blue head to Milwaukee and Chicago—
a poem begun long ago, blazed into frozen soil,
strutting upward and aglow.

There’s a poem in Florida, in East Texas
where streets swell into a nexus
of rivers, cows afloat like mottled buoys in the brown,
where courage is now so common
that 23-year-old Jesus Contreras rescues people from floodwaters.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Sturgeonman by Chicago’s Lake Michigan, endangered species © 2015, Michelle Kogan, watercolor & watercolor pencil.

Laura Shovan at her blog Laura Shovan Author & Poet is our host for this weeks Poetry Friday Roundup, thanks Laura! Laura is good at raising our conscience about important issues and individuals—and this week she is sharing a poem that sheds light on the artist Millicent Patrick, who created the half monster half man for the film “Creature from the Black Lagoon!” Be sure to stop by her blog for her poem and many more…

Sending thoughts for all Floridians and others affected by the building collapse last Thursday in Surfside, FL.

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 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–July 4th

  1. Mitchell Linda says:

    What a wonderful post. Love the diamante–all those ideals we hope to find in our government. And, Amanda Gorman is a perfect read for this weekend. Thank you!

  2. Happy 4th of July Weekend Michelle, with appreciations for all you have given me to think about.

    Amanda Gorman’s poem (from 1998) is one to read out loud often. One of her very short lines
    at the jump – “Hope – we must grow it” is a lovely mantra.
    Your diamante is an invigorating gift, waving against the field of your flag.

    We’ll be bouyant with bandleaderJon Batiste and singer Mavis Staples & The Boston Pops – along with the other thousands live streaming as we will, the 2021 concert.

    And what fun – I’ll look forward to the Black Lagoon post at Laura Shovan’s page.

  3. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, thank you for the mighty shout out to freedom from your diamante poem, “Independence…Reverberating contemplating rebuilding,” to the glorious voice of Amanda Gorman. “where we write an American lyric
    we are just beginning to tell.”
    To your drawing of an endangered species.
    Independence for all!

  4. lindabaie says:

    Beautiful & strenthening post, Michelle! This Independence Day it’s time to stand for our country loud & clear! I love your diamante, “Protesting changing enacting “, that’s our way forward! Wishing you a fulfilling weekend with lots of stars!

  5. Denise Krebs says:

    Michelle, I love your flag painting with the diamante poem. I especially like the last lines that show the purposeful protesting that leads to change and “exhausting, exhilarating freedom”
    Thank you for sharing Amanda’s poem too, so many rich images of people in America. I like the stanza about her mother learning in Watts.

  6. I love the celebration in your poem, telling what real freedom is. Thanks for sharing it and Amanda Gorman’s work. with her fascinating language, rhyme and detail.

  7. Hi, Michelle. I love the way your diamante moves from independence to freedom. I think of our country, but also of how our children become independent adults.

  8. It IS exhausting and exhilarating! The poem for that is all around us, isn’t it? Happy 4th to you.

  9. maryleehahn says:

    Like Laura S., I love the movement in your diamante. Nothing stays the same and we have to be up for the tough middle parts if we want to get to the true ending/freedom.

    I’m in love with your art, too! So different from your usual pieces, it works perfectly and makes a great backdrop for your words. Well played!

  10. Elisabeth says:

    Another beautiful pairing of poetry and art. Thank you for sharing these today.

  11. mbhmaine says:

    Happy 4th, Michelle! I love how your diamante moves from independence to freedom. Thanks also for sharing Amanda Gorman’s poem. I just received a copy of her book from a good friend and am looking forward to spending some time with it. As always, your art and poetry inspire!

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