Golden Shovel


Here are the rules for the Golden Shovel:

  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.
  • Keep the end words in order.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
  • For example, if you pull a line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you pull a stanza with 24 words, your poem would be 24 lines long. And so on.

I chose this excerpt from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –


Within, Without

As long as you are alive there is hope
That’s what I say there is
That is the thing, the
Only thing
I’m left with
Hope and feathers
What is that?
There it perches
Tell it to come in
To come in the soul, in the
Listen as it sings
It sings the tune, the
Within, without
Without the words, the
Without the music and
Music that never
That’s where it’s at
That is all

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