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Golden Shovel

In part one of this course, you encountered a number of new poems. This form teaches you to use a line from a poem you admire (or perhaps one you do not and would like to criticize). 

The Golden Shovel was conceived by the US poet Terrance Hayes in homage to the poet Gwendolyn Brooks. A Golden Shovel takes a line from another poem and uses it so that reading down the words at the end of the lines of the new poem repeats the original line. The best thing to do is to read the poem to see how it works! Hayes’s poem begins: 

When I am so small Da’s sock covers my arm, we
cruise at twilight until we find the place the real
men lean, bloodshot and translucent with cool

The words ‘We Real Cool’ are the title of a poem by Brooks.

Use a line from a poem you have enjoyed on this course or an element of your found poem to write your own Golden Shovel. 



Read ‘We Real Cool’ by Gwendolyn Brooks 

Click here to read the poem 


Read ‘The Golden Shovel’ by Terrance Hayes 

Click here to read the poem 


Read ‘An introduction to Golden Shovels’ 

Click here to read the article