Friday, June 02, 2017

Poetry Sisters Write Golden Shovels

The challenge we undertook this month was to write a Golden Shovel poem. This form was invented by Terrance Hayes. Most Golden Shovels are written in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks, though it is possible to write one to another poet's poem. In writing a golden shovel, the writer must first borrow a favorite line or lines from a poem to create their own. The words from this line become the end words of the new poem. You can read more about this form in the Poetry Foundation piece entitled Introduction: The Golden Shovel.

The poem we chose our lines from was Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I have highlighted the line that comprises the end words I used.

Pied Beauty 
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –  
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 
      And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

In December I wrote my first love poem when we wrote ekphrastic poems for an image selected by Andi. It was a complete surprise when that poem went the way it did. When this one went in the same direction, I was befuddled, as I am not particularly romantic or sentimental. Despite this fact, I have a soft spot in my heart for this one. Maybe it's because our 23rd anniversary is on June 4th. In any case, here is my poem.

Love's Beauty
     after Gerard Manley Hopkins

In the landscape
of my heart, you are plotted
like a ship’s course, straight and
true. You are stitched, pieced,
glued, affixed on every fold.
My love will not grow fallow.
You are my yes and
always. Onward, together we will plough.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. Sara drove to New Mexico with her daughter, so she'll be posting in a few days. Look for her poem after she's had a chance to regroup. We're missing Andi and holding her in our hearts as she deals with the loss of her beloved son. Please keep her in your thoughts, prayers, and hearts as well. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog. Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. Your poem is beautiful. I am a newbie to Poetry Friday, and just recently discovered Golden Shovel poems. They are such a unique way to take one poem and completely transform it.

  2. Congratulations and happy anniversary! My parents wed on the same day, a few years earlier. ;) Your poem is sweet and lovely and inspiring.

  3. Oh, swoon! Another love poem! June is blooming with love poems!

  4. My parents' anniversary is June 3... and this is year is fifty -- so you have a ways to go, but with poems like this, you sound sure to get there. Lovely, and ethereal. Have a beautiful anniversary, friend.

  5. Beautiful poem, Tricia. Happy Anniversary!

  6. Ah, Tricia, you softie, you. This is such a wonderful love poems--and I often don't like love poems. The Onward in the last line especially resonated with me, since "Onward" by Yes was our wedding song. Was that on purpose that you have yes in one line and onward in the next--or just beautiful coincidence? (

    1. Contained in everything I do
      there's a love, I feel for you
      proclaimed in everything I write ...

      Yes, it was purposeful! I adore Yes (my husband not so much) and have always loved this song.

      I'm so glad you picked up on this.

    2. BTW, I thought about capitalizing YES, but it felt out of place.

  7. We're coming up on 15 years in a few months, and I'm feeling a bit soppy and sappy too, so this made my heart sing. <3

  8. Happy Anniversary in a few days, Tricia. Love must be entering the June air. As you've been told, lots of love poems this PF. I do Love "You are my yes and/always" very much.

  9. I'm loving all these golden shovels today--you poetry princesses are inspiring me to try one! And yes, I think you've got a new career as a romantic poet. Hope your sweetheart enjoys this one on the 4th.

  10. Love AND golden shovels are in the air....what Nikki Grimes has done to us with One Last Word! LOL.
    Really, a lovely love poem. Bravo.

  11. This is a beautiful love poem. Happy anniversary!

  12. We just passed 20 years and this love poem makes it sweeter yet. I love the melty center, like molten chocolate cake.

  13. Well done! This poetry form fascinates me. Can't wait to try a few this summer. -- Christie @

  14. So many wonderful love poems this week! It must be anniversary season. I love the ending to your poem that implies marriage is hard work. (It is.) My husband and I just celebrated our 21st. Happy 23rd to you, Tricia!

  15. These golden shovels are a delight - as are the heartfelt sentiments. Rich and rare and very beautiful. Congratulations - on the poem, and the 23 years.

    I'm having trouble commenting on Kelly's post - so I'm also hoping she might see this comment as she passes through... 'Bone-deep' is the perfect description of such tried and true love. Beautiful work.

  16. Beautifully done! Loved "You are my yes and
    always." Happy anniversary tomorrow!
    I tried my first Golden Shovel poem this week with a Rupert Brooke poem.

  17. Lovely poem. Happy anniversary. We are coming up on our 25 in August. It's hard to believe, but I don't regret any of it.

  18. Gorgeous - nice to see another love poem in the bunch!! Happy anniversary!

  19. Nicely done, Tricia! Happy anniversary :-)

  20. I think only the least sentimental among us should write love poetry. Less likely to gum it up, ya know. :) This is succinct, and full of powerful declaration. I adore it.