The name, 'Golden shovel,' refers to a form of poetry created by Terrance Hayes around 2010.
The following rules apply to the Golden Shovel Poetry form:
Take a line (or lines) from a favourite poem
- Use each word in the chosen line (or lines) as an end word for each line in your poem.
- Keep the end words in order.
- Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
- Your newly created poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that provides the selected end words.
- If you select a line with six words, your poem will be six lines long. The more words you select, the longer the poem will be. Each selected word represents a line.
Hayes initially used a frequently published Gwendolyn Brooks poem, 'We Real Cool.' His poem is called 'The Golden Shovel.' So that's where the name originates.
This poetic form offers more freedom for creativity than other forms of found poetry. Keeping the end words in the order they originally appeared means you could read the words at the right edge of each line like an acrostic poem. You get two poems for the price of one, if you like.
The appeal of the Golden shovel poem, is it's creative challenge. It does take some effort, but poets of all ages will be tempted to give it a try - established or emerging poets, student poets, and people who have never written poetry before now.
This borrowing of words is not new in poetry. One similar form is quite ancient: the Cento, in which you make a poem entirely from other poets' lines. Another form makes a new poem by removing lines from an existing poem - that is known as an Erasure.
So, here is my Golden Shovel Poem.
Streaky Cloud Morning
-after Samuel Taylor Coleridge
It is morning after-all
The air alive with the stirrings of nature
The sun, undercover its seems
Streaky clouds at
The horizon continue their cover up work
Grey like slugs
Soon they will leave
And the hydrangeas will lose their
Dewdrops as spiders rest upon their gossamer lairs.
Alan j Wright
Who's up for a Golden Shovel poem?