Thursday, May 19, 2016

DMC: "Madame de Pompadour" by Michelle Kogan

Madame de Pompadour, portrait by François Boucher


Come closer dear and sit beside
my lyrical harpsichord.
An interruption never you,
with music we both adore.

The keys will dance around the room,
enrapturing our senses–
music only nightingales sing,
without any pretenses.

You’re whispering my confidant...
My play, yes I’m preparing;
there’s nymphs, gods, and enrapturement,
tis light and not despairing.

Oh yes, dear king, I’m engraving,
a secret gemstone for you.
A precious stone fit for my love,
and our private rendezvous.

© 2016 Michelle Kogan. All rights reserved.

Laura Shovan has challenged us to write persona poems this month. Click HERE for more details. You don't need to include the artwork that inspired your poem, but you are welcome to as long as I can properly attribute the artist/photographer.

Send your poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, May 27th, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her fantastic new verse novel for middle grade readers:


  1. You've created quite an interesting character here, Michelle. She seems crafty in more ways than one!

  2. Such an alluring & hopeful voice. Will she catch him? The musical rhythm goes beautifully with the harpsichord!

    1. Thanks Linda! I have a hunch she's caught him.

  3. Thanks Michelle! Yes I believe she's many skills to pull from her bag...

  4. Love the intrigue...about an intriguing figure.

    1. Hi Jan, thanks she's a very intriguing figure, and I'll probably revisit her...

  5. Wonderful voice in this poem, with so many insights into what she might be thinking.

  6. I"m late but posting before May ends!

    I cannot tell you how much my head has been wrapped in poetry this month. Laura, I can tell you that your book was passed around the Novel-in-Verse workshop at Highlights last weekend. I only got a glimpse....but as a mother, teacher, librarian and poet....BRAVO!
    I live close enough to you that I hope to be able to meet you in person one day.

    Also, Michelle....your name and blog were mentioned. You have a good place in the world of poetry. Well done, you.

    Yesterday, my daughter's art class traveled to the National Portrait Gallery in DC for some observation and some sketching. I found myself running to the museum shop for more space to write dinky little index cards weren't enough!

    The following poem started to take shape. It's a rough....but it was fun...AND I realized a persona poem getting me a credit for the challenge here. I've put it up on my blog:

    And, in case that doesn't work (technology often fights me!) I'm pasting below. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all in the US.

    The Portrait Artist

    Lightening strokes
    within a familiar grid.
    erase and sketch
    moving pencil
    against my light.

    Capture her values
    within the portrait painter’s
    Asian vase
    Dutch tulips
    Satin and English lace
    to please a patron father
    and husband by
    whose name she’s

    A dress, lace
    tulips, vase
    these are props
    of Plymouth, Massachusetts
    rich and famous

    But what of
    Mrs. George Watson’s face?
    Her gaze is not
    an apathetic
    patrician stare.

    Mrs. Watson
    dares me to find her
    a new American woman--
    of the revolution
    that births
    our nation.

    Mrs. Watson and her
    portrait artist
    share lessons with my
    fingers and my soul
    no history textbook
    could impart.

    1. Hi, Linda. You must have been at the workshop with my good friend Jan Godown Annino. I know she was excited about it. If you're going to the Chesapeake Children's Book Festival next month, I hope we can meet. Heading over to your blog to see the image that goes with this wonderful poem.