The Golden Shovel form was created by Award winning US poet Terrance Hayes in 2010. ‘The Golden Shovel’ is actually a poem in his book Lighthead written to honour one of the most highly regarded, influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000). Terrance’s piece was based on Gwendolyn’s ‘We Real Cool‘.
Use the links to visit both these poems and see how it works.
The golden rule for the Golden Shovel poem is – Borrow a line (or multiple lines) from a poem (or the entire poem like the example above) you admire and use each of their words as the end-words in your poem. Make sure you keep them in order and make sure you credit the poet for the orignal line(s) of the base poem. The new poem doesn’t necessarily have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
Here’s my example :-
I am using the line “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” from William Butler Yeats’, ‘Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven‘
This pulp of desire I tread
whispers to me softly
Don’t open your eyes yet, because
this joy of cinching her, you
may never again tread.
These rainbow soaked shadows shall live on
And none shall fathom the depths of my