Write a Golden Shovel Poem

by akoloy


Celebration and honor are two touchstones of the poetic custom. With April’s National Poetry Month approaching, let’s write a poem in honor of one other poem, and one other poet.

Say whats up to the golden shovel.

The golden shovel is a recent poetic type that follows a algorithm invented by the acclaimed poet Terrance Hayes in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks, the previous poet laureate and the primary African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize. When Mr. Hayes created his poem, “The Golden Shovel,” initially printed in his 2010 assortment “Lighthead,” it was impressed by Brooks’s basic, and the identify of his type got here from her poem’s epigraph, “The Pool Players./Seven at the Golden Shovel.” Mr. Hayes’s created his poetic type in honor of a poet he deeply respects, and likewise in honor of one thing he does in lots of his poems, play.

Poetry may be very a lot about play. That is the enjoyment of writing a poem and of being a poet. As Brooks herself as soon as stated: “Words can do wonderful things. They pound, purr. They can urge, they can wheedle, whip, whine. They can sing, sass, singe.”

Poets are all the time celebrating each other, as all poems are actually impressed by different poems. You are going to do the identical factor: Use what has come earlier than you as inspiration to create your personal golden shovel. In doing so, you too, are honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, one line at a time.

So, what precisely is the golden shovel?

It’s a poem that takes a line from one other poem or textual content (typically a Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, however not all the time) and makes use of every phrase in that line as the top of a line within the poem. For this poem, you can be utilizing a headline from the newspaper as your line.

In honor of this poetic type, take into consideration focusing your poem on the notion of “celebration” or “honor.” What do you have fun in your life? What do you honor?

Here’s find out how to do it:

Be Picky. Search the paper for a headline of 5 or extra phrases that speaks to you; you would possibly reduce out just a few, so that you’ve choices. Each phrase within the headline would be the last phrase of a line in your poem, so the size of your composition is dictated by the headline you select.

Examine. Spread your headlines out earlier than you and study them. Which ones have essentially the most potential? When you take a look at them, are you able to already think about the place these finish phrases would possibly take you? Pick one.

Credit. Be positive to put in writing down the creator of the article your headline got here from, in addition to the date of the problem. You might want to give credit score to that author on the backside of your poem. (The poem above is drawn from an article by Jason Zinoman within the March 14 print version of The New York Times.)

Layout. Cut out your phrases and place them on a bit of paper on the finish of every line within the order by which they initially appeared, following the sample within the poem above.

Write. You are prepared to put in writing or sort your poem (you would possibly need to do that on scratch paper). Each line should finish together with your finish phrase, however your precise sentence can move over into the subsequent line, although the ultimate phrase of every line ought to really feel like some type of ending. In the poem above, for instance, the primary line ends with “aching,” which corresponds to the primary phrase of the chosen headline. See in the event you can embrace a simile, a metaphor or perhaps some imagery to evoke the 5 senses. Do you need your poem to “pound” or “purr” on the web page? Then, deal with sound and musicality. Have enjoyable with this.

Ta-Da! Write in your poem (or print it out and place every of your finish phrases with its line). Congratulations, you’ve written a golden shovel. If the shape intrigues you, try “The Golden Shovel Anthology,” printed by the University of Arkansas Press.



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