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Write a Golden Shovel Poem

A form called the Golden Shovel honors the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, and you just need a newspaper to get started.

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

Poetry is very much about play. That is the joy of writing a poem and of being a poet. As Brooks herself once said: “Words can do wonderful things. They pound, purr. They can urge, they can wheedle, whip, whine. They can sing, sass, singe.”

Poets are always celebrating one another, as all poems are really inspired by other poems. You are going to do the same thing: Use what has come before you as inspiration to create your own golden shovel. In doing so, you too, are honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, one line at a time.

It’s a poem that takes a line from another poem or text (often a Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, but not always) and uses each word in that line as the end of a line in the poem. For this poem, you will be using a headline from the newspaper as your line.

In honor of this poetic form, think about focusing your poem on the notion of “celebration” or “honor.” What do you celebrate in your life? What do you honor?

Category: Science

Source: New York Times

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