Poetry Friday–Bells 🔔 🔔 🔔 & New Years Eve!



Tulle Bells, Coral Bells, Laurel Bells, WIP © 2021 Michelle Kogan, pen and ink.

Let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new with lots of bells, and whistles, noise-makers, and lots of poetry too. I’m piggybacking on the Poetry Sister’s Bell poem challenge for December. For more Bell poems look for them tagged with #PoetryPals. And thanks to all the Poetry Sisters, Tanita, Laura,
Mary Lee, Liz, Kelly, Sara, Tricia, and Andi.

Here’s my list poem to get you started…


Church bells
Search bells
Beautiful bells.
School bells
Tulle bells
Beautiful bells.
Coral bells
Laurel bells
Beautiful bells.
Tinker bells
Pinker bells
Beautiful bells.
Cat and dog bells
Epilogue bells,
Hand bells
Grand bells,
Sleigh bells
Ya-a-a-y bells,
Jingle bells
Tingle bells,
Cow bells
Wow bells,
Door bells
More bells,
Call bells
Hall bells,
Fairy bells
Prairie bells
Beautiful bells.
Sale bells
Whale bells,
New Year bells
Drawing near
Listen sweetly
With your ear,
Chiming bells
Rhyming bells
A-l-l–the-t-i-i-i-i-i-m-e bells!

Draft, © 2021 Michelle Kogan

More info about Japan’s tradition of ringing New Year Bells here.

“The Great Bell of Chion-In Temple, Kyoto, Japan. (4788295650).jpg Image Description from historic lecture booklet: “You are in the eastern outskirts of Kyoto; the city proper lies behind you are the west. The trees you see between the great beams of the bell tower belong to the temple-garden or park–all Japanese temples have gardens, large or small as the case may be, in which their various buildings are grouped. This bell-tower is separate from the other buildings. It was erected almost three hundred years ago (1613) for a Buddhist monastery up here on the eastern hill. The giant bell of bronze is 108 ft. high and weighs nearly 148,000 pounds; the priests ring it by striking it form the outside with a heavy beam of wood. The beam itself hangs from above by a rope and is pulled to one side, its end striking the great metal flower as it swings back.
There is something marvelous and almost indescribable about the sound that rings out through the air. It fills all the space wit hit sonorous vibrations, deep in tone as the bass of a big church organ and mellow as golden sunshine. Even the most indifferent tourist is impressed by it .The sound lingers, and lingers, and lingers in the air–if you stand quite near, say as near as those women by the railing, you can distinguish a low musical hum five minutes after the bell was struck.
The people you see here are Kyoto residents, Buddhist believers of the middle class. The men’s head-gear shows the unpicturesque effect of contact with European customs, but the women are absolutely Japanese from the glossy waves of their soft, dark hair to the clumsy wooden elogs strapped on their little feet. The big, flat loops in which their sashes (obi) are tied are rigidly prescribed by Japanese canons of elegant propriety.”

For our last Poetry Friday Roundup of 2021 be sure to drop in on Carol, at her blog Carol’s Corner, thanks for hosting the Roundup Carol!

Happy New Year!

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–Bells 🔔 🔔 🔔 & New Years Eve!

  1. Oh, this has such great energy, Michelle! I love both the familiar and the unexpected kinds of bells you list. And I especially like how “beautiful” keeps chiming in, but in a sporadic way. Just when you forget, there’s a reminder–they’re beautiful! So much joy in this–thank you!

  2. This is wonderful, Michelle! And I learned about so many new bells, while loving the refrain of “beautiful bells” that chimes in now and then. Wishing you a healthy, productive, joyful 2022…

  3. Linda Mitchell says:

    Wow! Love that list poem…the beat to it is fantastic. And, what great images to illustrate this post…the great big and old bells to the bells of flowers. Comprehensive! Thanks for the beauty. Happy New Year!

  4. lindabaie says:

    Happy New Year, Michelle! What a marvelous bell-ringing poem to start my Poetry Friday. It rings beautifully! And that bell in Kyoto, wow! My first thought is how did they get it up there, all 148,000 pounds? Thanks for the sounds, a lovely way to start this final day of the year.

  5. What a joyful way to ring in 2022! Thank you, Michelle. You’ve got me thinking about my experience with bells, and the precise tone of bells I’ve most enjoyed (so far)…a lovely prompt for my writing today. Thank you! xo

  6. Janet F. says:

    You remind me how much I have always loved the sound of bells like those of Big Ben, to the gentle tinkle of tiny ones and the wonderful ring of sleigh bells. Your list poem brought so many sounds to mind…….and I was transported to the woods and watching the snow….and then I heard the horse shake those harness bells…… and finally church bells…always a favorite sound having grown up near a church. I like all your extras, too. Happy New Year!! Let’s ring in something wonderful!

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Michelle, thank you for the New Year celebration. I loved learning about the ringing in the new year in different parts of the world. Your list poem shares bells I never heard of like tulle bells and epilogue bells. Thanks for illustrating the tulle bell. Your illustrations are lovely.

  8. janicescully says:

    So many bells new and fascinating to me in your poem! And thanks for the New Year visit to Kyoto and to London. I so long to hear about humans in other parts of the world, especially now, and see what they might be seeing.

  9. Carol Wilcox says:

    When I read poems like this, I always wonder how in the world anyone could be this clever, to not only make their poem make sense, but also to rhyme! Holy cow!

  10. tee+d says:

    I LOVE, love, love the bells in Japan – ringing those big old bells with your whole temple community pulling and chanting with you — what an image! What an experience that must be. I love the flower bells, too, and I’m so glad to see a list poem. I’m always terrible at them, but I love yours.

    Happy New Year! Thanks for joining the fun this year.

  11. bmagee10 says:

    Your entire post has a nice ‘ring’ to it, Michelle. Happy New Year! 🙂

  12. heidimordhorst says:

    What a great catalogue of bell-types to begin my Poetry [Sunday] reading with, Michelle! The sing-song rhythm works perfectly. My poem has coral bells too.

  13. Susan Feniak says:

    Wishing you a happy and creative 2022!

  14. maryleehahn says:

    So. Much. Fun. I like how “beautiful bells” rang through the whole poem. The videos were a fabulous bonus, too. Loved seeing the Kyoto bell rung, and Big Ben + fireworks made me tear up a little.

    One of my drafts was about bluebells, so I’m happy to see you got flowers into yours!

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