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Golden Shovel Poems

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 …
Recent posts

Friday Poetry- The Gathering Poem

Today, I'm sharing a poem that I discovered in one of my notebooks, waiting patiently for me to return. That is often the fate of the words we capture within these pages. They wait for our return and the possibility of rediscovery...

In this poem I am reflecting upon those family times when we gather together to share a meal and recount the events of the day. This is a celebration of coming together. Hope you enjoy it.

Maybe, it will spark some thoughts about your gatherings with family and friends. The where, the when and the why...


The family sit, 
The large wooden table of rustic oak

Throughout the day
They wandered through
different landscape
Thoughts dancing differently
Their eyes set upon separate scenes

But now
they meet at the intersection of family and dinner time
The deeds of the day entwine right here

Their voices float across the table
Conversation wraps around them
Rising and falling
Back and forth
Up and down the table

They dine together
Fine together
All around the …

Lily, The Young, Passionate Poet

Let me introduce Lily. Lily is a student at Sunshine Heights Primary School. She is a young writer with a passion for poetry. I will step back now and allow Lily to tell her story...

I'm a young poet, as many of you know. I do like to write poems as you will be able to tell... and here is a display board telling you about my life as a poet.

When Did I Startt To Write Poems?

I was a young girl and I was in Grade 2. I was about eight years old at that time. What inspired me was the author, Alan Wright and the poems from his book, 'Searching For Hen's Teeth.' So then after Grade 2 when I was in Grade 3, I decided for the rest of my life, I would write poems and I would have to write many poems as the years past by. In Grade 5, which I'm currently was after lunch time and Alan Wright came in, and that was the time the spotlight hit me and he made me feel like I could be more creative in my writing.

Why Do I Like Poetry?

I like writing poetry because I was watching T…

The Poetry of Kit Wright

Today I want to introduce another English poet, Kit Wright, (born 17 June 1944 in Crockham Hill, Kent). Wright, no relation, is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers' Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and (jointly) the Heinemann Award. After a scholarship to Oxford University, he worked as a lecturer in Canada, then returned to England and a position in the Poetry Society. 

His books of poetry include 'The Bear Looked Over the Mountain' (1977), which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award, and 'Short Afternoons' (1989), which won the Hawthornden Prize and was joint winner of the Heinemann Award. His poetry is collected in 'Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000' (2000). His latest book of poetry is 'The Magic Box: Poems for Children' (2009). He currently lives in Lo…

A Focus On Anthologies

I have been fortunate enough to publish two anthologies of poems. The poems I wrote were randomly included with no conscious connection to one another -apart from the fact that they were all a joy to write.  Sometimes though poets create anthologies where the poems are connected by a common theme. The anthology is created quite deliberately to explore these related ideas. Douglas Florian, an American poet, is very accomplished at establishing connections in this way. So many of his anthologies explore themes.

Below are some examples of these books. You will notice how Douglas brings his poems together around common themes -trees, marine creatures insects, the solar system. These books are part of my ever expanding poetry collection. Douglas Florian is not just a prolific and accomplished poet, he is always a great illustrator and painter. He remains a particularly fine exponent of list poems. The poetry of Douglas Florian comes highly recommended.

 Poetry can be presented around almost …

Where's The Poetry Section?

When I enter a bookstore, I am always keen to seek out possible poetry titles, awaiting discovery on the shelves. In particular, I am looking for poetry titles suitable for children. Often though, I leave the shop somewhat disconsolate. Unfortunately, there seems to be a general lack of poetry for kids on display. It may be published, but that doesn't guarantee you will encounter it in the majority of bookshops.

Frequently what you are offered are the same few collections of 'classic poems for children' and little else. Very few bookshops I enter have a dedicated space for children's poetry. The few shops that do, fill me with a sense of exultation. It's akin to chancing upon rare treasure. more power to these fearless bookshop owners, I say. They deserve our custom.

I find this paucity of poetry titles very sad indeed. Not just because I write poetry, but because I believe every generation of children deserve access to poetry. 

At present, it remains mostly hidden fr…

A Spike In The Level Of Nonsense

Terence Alan Milligan, known as 'Spike' (1918-2002) dedicated his life to making people laugh, through his performances on radio and television, through his poems and memoirs, and often just by being himself. A BBC poll in 1999 voted Spike 'The funniest person of the last 1,000 years.' -That's some accolade. Spike was the chief creator and writer of the famous Goon Show, a British radio comedy programme, performed from 1951 to 1960. The cast also included, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine.

Spike revelled in funny poems. He was influenced by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, two famous English poets of the past who also loved extravagant wordplay and nonsensical stories. 
His verse was considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense. His most famous poem, On the Ning Nang Nong, was voted the UK's favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. It remains a favourite, and …