Workshop 5—Golden Shovel Poetry
Thanks to visiting poet, April Ossmann, for leading our poetry workshop and introducing us to the “Golden Shovel” prompt. This poetic form was invented by Terrance Hays, in his poem, “The Golden Shovel” (Lighthead, Penguin Books, 2012), an homage to Gwendolyn Brooks, which borrows her poem “We Real Cool,” in its entirety and incorporates it in the new poem. The borrowed poem or line of poetry is laid out vertically on the right margin of the created poem, as you will see from these wonderful examples written on the spot by Write Mondays’ students.
Write Mondays’ Golden Shovel Poems
Summer’s hurricane battered each branch bare. —from Mark Doty’s poem, “Grosse Fugue”
Warmth of winter contrasts the ice of summer’s Sweet deception. Her subtlety brews a hurricane Of tired souls, consciences submissively battered. Every second whispered sings earnestly of each Perfect strand of music that spurns another’s branch - Twist my words, spin my thoughts till all is laid bare.
Let’s tip over all the trash cans we can find. —from “How to Like It,” by Stephen Dobyns
Gwendolyn—Nostalgia In the Mitsubishi
Asked me if we should; I answered “Let’s,” went to a restaurant; left a gracious tip; whirled the car around the rotary over and over; couldn’t stop laughing, didn’t matter at all; didn’t worry about the subtle rattle of trash tumbling about your backseat; soda cans, broken dreams, longing for the 1950s; we can’t go back now, but you pretend we can; you pretend whenever there’s a solution you can’t find.
here is where the world ends every time.—from Brian Turner’s poem, “Here, Bullet”
The geese were here passing quickly, heading away. It is the same with the other birds;the chickadees, the bluejays; this is where the fading land meets the sharp edge of the world. Now the bloodred dying sun lays its beaten body in the west, the world is silent, it ends, here and every where, forever. All that's left is the gelid black, ticking gently, time.
Trees have broken cement sidewalks here This is where the trees reach the stars, this is Children run wild here, they disappeared, into where? Imaginations have run away too, tangled, brilliant, the Beautiful, aged woods have become the whole world Sunlight weaves through trunks of trees as that universe ends Slowly it falls from tips of leaves to roots, touching every One, only with the setting of the sun has it been noticed, time
The catalyst is here do we ever know when the catalyst arrives? is it possible to reference the catalyst in present tense, where there is no was or will be. the catalyst brings what? what the world needs, wants, accepts. what the world refuses, hates, runs from. it ends peace, tranquility, routine. a catalyst is the start of every reaction, every change, every era throughout time
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.—e.e. cumming’s poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”
Gwendolyn—The Cruelty of Feigned Oblivion
I think it must be lonely to be God—from “the preacher: ruminates behind the sermon,” by Gwendolyn Brooks
That is I determined and shaped by what I think constantly chasing it whatever was predetermined, do I must whatever shape they want me to become, I must be have my will cut down and believe lies that I am never lonely drive towards whatever they say I am striving to be whatever an exemplary person is to be and ignore the notion of freedom, and a feeling that I will never get the chance to be a god